In the past the world of motor racing was always considered an exclusively male arena. However, things have been changing in the last couple of decades. This is particularly true when it comes to Formula E and Extreme E racing where women are absolutely smashing those barriers to smithereens.
There are too many of these amazing, ground-breaking ladies to mention in this article, but I will spend some time talking about just a few of them. Their importance in history and for the future of EV sports should not be underestimated.
Formula E and Extreme E – An Introduction
If we are talking about Formula E and Extreme E it is a good idea to know what it is we are talking about. Not everyone is into motorsports. And when it comes to these sports, they are still pretty new.
Formula E started in 2014 and is the brainchild of founders Jean Todt and Alejandro Agag who came up with the concept in 2011. Formula E is the electric car equivalent of Formula 1, the conventionally fuelled motorsport. Formula E has grown from strength every year since. In fact it is the fastest growing motorsport series on the planet.
Extreme E is even newer, and it has completely blurred the line between men and women. Extreme E was started by Alejandro Agag of Formula E fame, and a former driver called Gil de Ferran.
This exciting series of races takes place in extreme places, such as the Saudi desert, and consists of teams of two drivers in an electric off-road SUV electric vehicle. The great thing about this series is that each team of two has to consist of a man and a woman and they must have equal driving time. No distinction between the sexes is made.
Katherine Legge – Setting the Trend
In the inaugural Formula E season in 2014 there were two women who competed. Katherine Legge and Michela Cerruti were at the top table of the most exciting new racing sport in the world. However, it is Katherine Legge who got the first start out of both women.
Unfortunately neither of these ladies would complete a whole season due to various factors. However, the fact that they were at the inaugural season of this event is the important thing. They are role models for younger women wanting to try the sport. And for this they should be lauded for their efforts.
Simona de Silvestro – Taking it a Step Further
Although she was not the first female driver in Formula E, Simona de Silvestro was the first woman to complete a full 12 race season against male counterparts. In her first season she managed a very respectable 18th place in a field of 25 drivers. She also became the first female driver to score points in the championship when she finished 9th at the Long Beach ePrix. Simona is currently a factory driver for Porsche.
Even though her career in Formula E was short lived, she has shown to women and girls around the world that there is a place for them at the top table of racing. I’m sure we will see more women follow in her footsteps in the next few years.
Molly Taylor – An Extreme Champion
When it comes to Extreme E, there was always going to be a woman winning the inaugural season due to the format of this sporting event. That honour fell to Molly Taylor. Molly is a racing driver who holds dual British and Australian citizenship. She also has a strong family pedigree when it comes to racing.
Molly’s mother and father were also a racing team in their own right, with the pair winning the Australian rally championship an impressive 4 times. In fact, Molly herself has also won the Australian rally championship as well as a host of other major racing events worldwide. I think that we will be seeing more of Molly Taylor in the years to come.
Catie Munnings – The Next Generation
Catie is, at the time of writing, a 25-year-old British racing driver that hails from the county of Kent (where you can find the headquarters of EV Sales). Her career has been a very interesting one so far, and she is still so young in this sport.
The daughter of rally driver, Chris Munnings, it is not too surprising that Catie got involved in cars. Despite her early ambitions to become a vet, it was her skill as a driver that caught peoples’ attention. Working in her father’s garage and perfecting the handbrake turn at only 13, Catie was destined to be quite special.
Catie made her debut in 2016 and was topped by winning the FIA European Rally Champion Ladies’ Trophy. She was also shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Sportswoman of the Year Award that year.
In 2018 Catie’s career took an unusual turn. She became the presenter of a CBeebies children’s show called Catie’s Amazing Machines. However, she chose not to do a second season as she wanted to concentrate on driving.
In the first season of the Extreme E championship, Catie and her teammate finished in an impressive 3rd place and had their name recorded for prosperity. I salute Catie, not only for her amazing driving career, but also the work she has done on television. Young girls seeing someone they can identify with talking about machines is quite a major plus point. Who knows. Maybe a young lady watching her on CBeebies is a future Extreme E or Formula E champion.
All of these women are an inspiration. Not just to young girls, but to all of us. I look forward to seeing what these incredible ladies do next.