The final race of the inaugural Extreme E season takes place next week in Dorset, as the campaign finishes off with the Jurassic X-Prix.
Among the field, home favourite and Red Bull athlete Catie Munnings will be looking to cap the season off strongly, in a year where she and teammate Timmy Hansen won the Arctic X-Prix and put in a number of strong showings.
A motorsport that gives female drivers exactly the same platform as males, with teams made up of both a woman and man driver, Munnings believes that such initiatives should hopefully pave the way for more girls to get behind the wheel across motorsport disciplines.
Speaking to Give Me Sport exclusively, she said:
It’s been so powerful. The fact that we’re racing on channels like the BBC, one Sunday afternoon a young girl could flip on the TV and have no idea that females can compete in motorsport, and then she sees it.
The amount of talks I’ve been to through some of the charities that I’m involved with in trying to encourage younger women into motorsport where they say ‘I had no idea that a girl could be a Formula One driver because I’ve never seen it before.’
It makes you realise how many doors are being shut before they’re even open to the young talent that could possibly be the next world champion.
I think I think it’s incredible. We’re providing the seat at the highest level we’ve seen girls drive at before.
I think the fact that this isn’t just a media and a PR stunt, as we’ve seen before, matters. The girl has to be as fast as the guy or has to be a fast driver in order for us to have a good team result otherwise, there’s no point in turning up to the racetrack in the morning.
That then filters all the way back to access to engineering, testing time, development programs, outside of the racing.
There are so many things that you don’t see when you watch a race and it’s not just the inequality between genders, but also financially for drivers.
I always talk about budget being one of the hardest things for young drivers to find to compete, motorsport is big numbers. It’s not that accessible. So I think when you’re providing seats for females at the highest level, it will encourage more girls that they can do it and it gives them something to aim for, because those seats are reserved for girls.
To find out more about Catie Munnings, head to her athlete profile page on RedBull.com