Andretti United has become the first Extreme E team to announced its driver line-up for the series’ second season, retaining the services of Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings for 2022.
Hansen and Munnings have proved to be one of the most effective pairings on the XE grid so far, particularly at the inaugural event in Saudi Arabia where they claimed second overall behind Rosberg X Racing’s Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor.
McLaren, which will join the grid next year, is the only other team to announce any of its drivers for the 2022 Extreme E season. It has brought Tanner Foust on board, with his female team-mate yet to be confirmed.
“I’ve loved everything about our Extreme E journey with Andretti United Extreme E so far and I couldn’t ask for a better team-mate than Timmy,” said Munnings.
“Extreme E is a series that really can make a difference – it’s more than just racing; we’re helping to highlight climate issues which are affecting everyone’s day-to-day lives.
“Even if the event in Senegal didn’t go to plan for us [with a technical issue], I know that we helped make an impact in other ways including planting mangroves plus meeting and working with the local communities.”
Hansen added: “Catie and I have worked really well together this season, she has a similar work ethic to me which is really important when it comes to sharing a car together.
“Andretti Autosport and United Autosports are legendary names in the industry too so to sign another contract with such a prestigious team is an honor.
“The timing of Extreme E is perfect and what I’ve learned this year is that we don’t have to turn our lives upside down to help the environment. To be able to help share this message throughout 2022 and to continue to be part of something bigger than motorsport is a privilege.”
Munnings on learning how to race
It can be intimidating for a driver to transition from one discipline to another, but for Munnings, the shift from rally driver to racing driver has been a hugely enjoyable experience.
Unlike her contemporaries, Munnings didn’t begin her career in karting, instead honing her skills on her family’s farm before becoming a fully-fledged rally driver. As such, her first actual ‘racing’ experience has been in Extreme E.
Daunting? Not in the slightest.
“Oh it’s the best bit, I’ve really enjoyed it,” a grinning Munnings told DirtFish in Senegal about the switch to racing wheel-to-wheel.
“I wasn’t sure [about racing] because I’ve done rallying in the past, I didn’t start with karting as a kid, I’ve always been off-road.
“But I did some rallycross with the Hansens in Sweden and actually going into the first corner at the start was my favorite, which is weird because I’ve always looked at it from the outside and thought, ‘That looks really stressful, I bet they’re glad they’ve settled in and I bet they’re just working on their pace around the lap’.
“But actually for me I love having a target and thinking, ‘OK, that’s who I’m going to pass’.”
So does a career change beckon for the rising rallying star? Could she make the move into rallycross or off-road racing more permanent alongside her Extreme E program?
“Well I’m doing it, aren’t I?” she said. “I’d love to. Seat time is seat time!
– Dominik Wilde