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  • Writer's pictureCastor Chan

Andretti's Catie Munnings & Timmy Hansen: "we want to live the life we like in a sustainable way"

I had the most amazing opportunity to sit down with Genesys Andretti United Extreme E drivers Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen in a call from all the way in Chile ahead of the Antofagasta Minerals Copper XPrix. From their thoughts on two full seasons, to highlights of their time, to snow and ice, Catie and Timmy shared all about their experiences in the first part of this interview.

Catie and Timmy (Credit: Sam Bloxham)

You both have a season of Extreme E under your belt working together, has helped this season and how have you adapted the car to fit you both?

C I’m right Timmy’s wrong!

T Yeah haha! We do drive similarly and we like pretty similar things. We can adjust the mapping in the car though, so usually we go with a different balance map between the front and the rear depending on how we want the drive to be. But in terms of making the car as fast as possible, this car has evolved a lot since the beginning. Like the suspension is different from last race so we’re able to tackle massive jumps. When you walk the track and you see the size of the stuff we go flat out over, it’s incredible. We want a car that’s smooth over bumps and has a lot of grip, and I think we’re quite agreeing with each other in terms of that setup.

C Timmy’s being modest as well, he’s got a lot of experience and is very good at setting a car up. I’m learning a lot from him all the time. We’re in a driver pairing, but he’s a massive coach for me as well.

we’re in a small bubble but every now and then, you look up and see all the locations you’re racing in.

What has been the biggest highlight of your Extreme E journey so far?

T I think it’s Greenland, definitely. Tell her about it haha.

C I always say Greenland so I was trying to think of a new answer but it’s our first win. It was so unique because it was in such a remote place, I’d never been anywhere like it. I think we were the first people to win an international sport event in Greenland even outside of motorsport as well, so it always feels very special. When you fly over and see where we’ve raced, it brings back really good memories.

T The way we celebrated was we jumped into the ice water that melted form the glacier with the trophy. It was a really cool moment.

Catie and Timmy in the water after winning in Greenland (Credit: Extreme E media centre, Sam Bagnall)

How cold was the water?

C Freezing! Timmy had actually already done it in the week when we did the legacy programme and we were going up to take the samples of the black ice. He and Johan, the Swedish ice men, had a competition of who was tougher and they both got into the water. They already had practice, and honestly I’m surprised [he] did it again with how cold it was.

T It’s cool, it makes you fresh like an ice bath! But it was really cold, usually you can call it an ice bath from 10 degrees and it feels freezing, but that water was actually zero. There were ice crystals out there because it was coming straight out of the glacier.

Speaking of legacy projects, what has your experience been like on a racing series that prioritises sustainability this highly?

T It’s surprisingly similar to what others usually are, just a bit more mindful about making the right choices. Obviously the race cars are electric and they never fly to another race. We go on [the St Helena] instead, which is massively more sustainable. I think we can’t stop doing things that we like to do, we can’t stop doing sports although staying at home is probably the best anyone can do for the environment. But we want to continue to learn how to live the life we like in a sustainable way and I think Extreme E is adapting incredibly well.

C I agree with Timmy, our first focus coming here is to race and we’re all very competitive people. It seems like we’re in a small little bubble but every now and then, you look up and you get woken up when you’re on the events and see all the locations you’re racing in. Or you have one of the scientists telling you about all the progress that they’re making with the sponsorship from Extreme E and the difference that’s making in their world. It’s very interesting I think, it’s a lot more educational when you’re racing in a championship and you go to the same places and hotels every year. It means a lot more. And I think personally, the memories are ten times better because you go to places you’d never normally go and experience things you’ve never experienced.

the memories are ten times better because you go to places you’d never normally go

The last race of the season is in Punta Del Esta, Uruguay, on the 26-27th of November. Thank you to Catie and Timmy for the interview, and Lewis Mitchell for organising the opportunity!

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