CATIE MUNNINGS has swapped her career as a CBeebies presenter to take on world champions in an emerging sport.
The rally driver competes in Extreme E, an electric version of rally cross involving futuristic Odyssey 21 cars.
She is the only British driver involved in the 2023 season, competing for Andretti Altawkilat Extreme E.
During the racing calendar, Munnings competes across terrains including Saudi deserts, glaciers in Greenland and the Andean mountains of Chile.
Munnings believes she was destined for a career in motorsport.
Speaking to The Telegraph, she recalled: “I can’t remember the first time I sat behind a wheel, I think I always was.
“Me and my sister grew up on a farm, constantly sitting on our dad’s lap behind a wheel.
“He had a motorsports entertainment company and there was always something to drive: buggies, old cars, driving around on fields, sliding in the grass.”
Until recently, she even balanced her racing career with work as a children’s TV presenter.
Munnings hosted Catie’s Amazing Machines on CBeebies, where she drove a series of unique vehicles, introducing youngsters to some of the world’s biggest and fastest machines.
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“I loved it,” she said of the show. “People seemed to love it too.
“I still get mums coming up to me saying, ‘My son loves your show’. Kind of like Top Gear for kids, it was so fun.
“I was flying a helicopter in the morning, diving in a submarine in the afternoon. Bucket-list stuff.”
However, she went on to explain that her rallying exploits forced her to give up the role.
“Pretty much every day I wasn’t racing, I was filming,” Munnings admitted.
“It got to the point towards the end I was so frazzled, I couldn’t remember the lines for the show, never mind remembering what I had to do on each of 20 stages in a rally. Basically I knew I wasn’t doing either job properly.”
Munnings’ time in Extreme E has seen her compete against some of motor racing’s biggest stars, though.
During her career, she has raced former Formula One champion Jenson Button and beaten multiple time world rally champion Sebastian Loeb.
The 25-year-old will be hoping for more success next month at round seven and eight of the 2023 season.
She will be in action on September 16 and 17, although the location of the races has yet to be confirmed.
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