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Catie Munnings: ‘driving old cars is where you really learn your true skills’

Rally driver tells us how to perform the perfect Scandi flick

Published: 03 Aug 2022

It’s perhaps the most important question percolating in every motoring circle on Earth: just how do you do a proper Scandi flick, on ice?

“It’s a weight transfer thing,” rally driver and Extreme E racer Catie Munnings explained on the recent Top Gear Podcast. “You’re turning away from the corner as you’re braking to kind of initiate the slide, so when you come back around the inertia is double the momentum. It flicks you around really easy.

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Though, a caveat. “We don’t really do that so much nowadays in modern cars,” she said. “I was in the new electric Rallycross car that I’m racing this year, and you can’t drive like that. Carlos Sainz tried – and he drives really aggressively – he got out and said ‘I don’t like it, it doesn’t suit my driving style’. You have to be super smooth because the cars are setup to just rotate on their own.

“In the old-fashioned cars where you really had to work at it, you had to use this weight transfer by flicking it one way and then to help it into the right way on the corner.”

Does she miss driving like that? “Absolutely. It’s so much fun to drive like that. I’m not saying that modern day cars aren’t [fun to drive], because there’s no better feeling in the world to slide easily, you always feel like a hero.

“I think to drive old cars like that is where you really learn your true skills as a driver. I started in front-wheel drive rally cars, and that was the best place for that because you have to really use the weight transfer. You can’t rotate on the power – it’s not rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive,” she said.

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Probably make a fantastic getaway driver, too. “The handbrake turn was probably one of my first tricks,” she said. “I just kind of did it in my standard road car in a field. I think that the key is – and this sounds really stupid – to know when you’re reversing which way you want to flick it. I’ve had it before where I’ve turned the wheel and then I’ve kind of spun in the opposite direction to where I thought I was going to go.

“But it’s one of the easiest things because all you literally do is pin it and then rotate the wheel.”

Want to learn more advanced driving tricks? Have a listen below:

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