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Electric Odyssey

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Catie Munnings

Jurassic just got electric.

We're filming with the legendary Blue Peter crew again this week, and this time it's Extreme. 

Carney and Fleur were thrilled to be invited along to share in the excitement of the 2021 Jurassic X Prix as CBBC put an E Car through it's paces.  Richie Driss is meeting up with Catie Munnings to throw the ODYSSEY 21, a powerful electric race car, around the track at Bovington Tank Museum.  In a strange twist, Bovington in Dorset has been selected as one of the international destinations for a unique motor racing series, televised by the BBC, which pits electric sportscars against each other in ‘extreme environments’.  Bovington was asked to step in for Argentina – because of concerns over Covid – as the series finale.

Extreme E is an off-road racing series that uses electric SUVs to race in the most remote parts of the world, such as the Amazon rainforest, Arabian desert and the Greenland Ice sheet.  Extreme E is very much motor racing with a message. It is promoting electric vehicles as a ‘clean’ alternative to oil-based fuels, as part of the drive for a ‘lower carbon future for the planet’.  All racing locations maintain a ‘legacy programme’, which is chosen and run by expert Scientists, to make a positive contribution towards the impacts of climate change relating to that area, all while using the power of the voice that sport has to raise awareness of the climate issues we’re facing.

  

Regular CBeebies viewers will remember rally driver Catie from Catie's Amazing Machines.  She began her career in the European Rally Championship where she won the 2016 Ladies Championship at just 18 years old, making her the first Brit to win a European Rally title in 49 years. Graduating into the Peugeot Rally Academy for 2018, Catie placed fourth overall in the European Rally Championship two-wheel drive category.  Her continued success led to her becoming a Peugeot Brand Ambassador and the UK’s first ever female motorsports athlete to sign a sponsorship deal with Red Bull.

   

But don’t rush to Bovington to watch. The Jurassic X Prix takes place on Ministry of Defence land. Spectators can only watch these events online, with the Dorset event taking place from Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th December 2021.

The championship cars are all of one design, a fully electric sport utility vehicle (SUV), named ODYSSEY 21. The batteries are specially designed and developed by Williams Advanced Engineering.  Cars travel from one event to another on a ‘floating paddock’ – the St Helena ship – to ensure the greenest mode of transport.

The global adventure, which began in March 2021 and has teams owned by big motor racing names like Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, is also billed as the first ‘fully gender equal motorsport’. Catie Munnings and Jamie Chadwick are amongst its female talent.

  

Extreme E is working closely with the Ministry of Defence which like many organisations is currently grappling with strategies to push forward ‘sustainability’.  Efforts have already started with the Army piloting electric armoured vehicles and developing ‘carbon efficient’ accommodation.

In an article in the Swanage News by Richard Wright, Major General Simon Hutchings said: 

“The British Army prides itself on its ability to conduct operations in all environments, adapting and developing its skills as required.  It will enable us to share innovative ideas which will allow the Army to continue to gain technology advantage globally, whilst also contributing to our climate and sustainability targets.” 

We'll be deploying our drones to get an aerial view of the action.  As with all of our shoots, pre-production is key, and Fleur has been working with the Beeb, MOD, local police and air traffic control and air users to ensure that everything is in place.