Back to where it began for ERC Junior Munnings
Catie Munnings is back to where it began this week as she prepares to contest Rallye Mont-Blanc Morzine from today (Friday).
Munnings sampled a rally car for the first time in the French town in September 2015. Three years on and the 20-year-old – a regular point-scorer in the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC Junior Under 27 Championship – will make her debut on the all-asphalt event, which boasts an entry of more than 150 cars and features 199 competitive kilometres.
“It’s where it all began for me,” said Munnings. “I came to watch the rally in 2015 and [was invited to test a PEUGEOT 208 R2] the day after. When the chance to drive here this year came up, I jumped at it.”
Munnings will compete in the 208 Rally Cup section of the event with her opposition including ERC Junior Experience student and French rising star Hugo Margaillan.
“It’s a pretty fierce pace in the 208 Rally Cup so it’s going to be interesting,” said Munnings. “There will be loads to learn from the experience so we have no expectations. I see it as a massive privilege just to drive here. Thank you so much to all those people who made it possible at such short notice.”
Munnings was a 17-year-old when she first came to Morzine. “We got an invite to try a 208 R2. I’d always been surrounded by rally cars and grown up driving buggies and old cars around the fields at home. But this was the first time I drove one properly.”
Since then Munnings has become a regular on European championship events, winning the ERC Ladies’ Trophy in 2016 and scoring regularly in ERC3 and ERC Junior U27, despite her limited experience.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” she said. “When I look back it was a crazy idea but at the same time it was a dream come true. I thought I am so luck to be doing this. If you’d told me back then what I’d be doing now, I would not have believed it.”
Spaniard Alba Sánchez will co-drive Munnings in a Saintéloc Junior Team-entered 208 R2. ERC event winner Bryan Bouffier is the top seed in a Hyundai i20 R5.