In just three days Todd survived a high speed crash, conquered treacherous conditions, and battled through navigational and technical challenges to finish 47th overall in World Rally Championship finale.
Todd’s cycling world champion husband, Mark Cavendish, says he’s proud of wife’s achievements.
ProSpeed team worked around-the-clock for three days to enable Todd to realise dreams of finishing rally.
Peta Todd, former glamour model and wife of world champion cyclist Mark Cavendish, has overcome an extremely difficult weekend to join an elite group of drivers and co-drivers that have completed the long and arduous finale of the World Rally Championship, Wales Rally GB.
What Peta has achieved clearly impressed Mark Cavendish, a man who knows better than most how much commitment is required to succeed in world class sporting events:
“I’m so proud of Peta this weekend. She’s come so far since her first co-driving experience just a few weeks ago, and what she’s overcome just to start Wales Rally GB. Her determination to finish is a stubbornness I know all too well!”
Peta, along with her team-mate, Sky Sports News F1 analyst Tony Jardine, have had to endure numerous problems and setbacks across all three days of the rally. A serious high speed crash on Friday’s sixth stage, where Jardine lost control and collided with a large log pile, was the first in a series of problems that included a punctured tyre, multiple cars losing their way between stages and a faulty wheel bearing, all of which led to significant time penalties for the team.
Throughout the weekend Peta had to battle with elements that no previous experience could have prepared her for, which not only included the treacherous conditions, pitch black night stages, and sheer drops but was also compounded by severe sleep deprivation. Despite all this, Peta remained calm under enormous pressure and kept her sense of humour throughout.
Leading on from Friday’s crash which ended their first day’s rallying, the ProSpeed engineers worked tirelessly through the night to ensure the car could re-enter the following morning under Super Rally regulations, albeit with a significant time penalty. Unfortunately this time penalty was repeated on Saturday, when a wheel bearing failed, as a result of the previous day’s crash, on the return from the final stage. The ProSpeed team yet again worked through the night to repair the car, ensuring that Peta and Tony could return to competition on the final day, albeit with a second Super Rally penalty.
Despite some incredibly rough and testing terrain on the final day of action, Peta and Tony experienced a relatively problem-free day and their Kumho tyres performed amazingly well getting them through everything this gruelling day threw at them. They put in some quick times which pulled them up through the rankings from 53rd overall to a very respectable final result of 47th overall. Were it not for the major time penalties that ensued from the Super Rally regulations, they may have finished considerably higher up the standings. The dramas that had befallen the PlayStation®4 DRIVECLUB team were well known by the rally fans that lined every stage, and the support the team received throughout the final day was exceptional.
Upon arrival in Llandudno, the pair soaked up the applause from the crowd as they rubbed shoulders with their fellow successful crews, and were able to reflect on everything they had overcome in the last three days of competition. Peta also had the chance to catch up with her co-driving mentor Daniel Barritt, who was fresh from guiding M-Sport’s local hero Elfyn Evans to 5th place overall.
Daniel was extremely impressed with the performance of his student co-driver, commenting:
“Very well done to Peta, I’m so glad she guided Tony to the finish, she should be really proud of what she has achieved this weekend. For someone who hadn’t done a rally two months ago, to go out and perform the way she has done is absolutely incredible.”
Tony has been hugely impressed with Peta throughout their short rally campaign, and had nothing but praise for her performance and mentality throughout a difficult final event:
“Peta has been a rock throughout this rally. Despite all the setbacks, she has kept her cool and hasn’t let anything get to her. Her mental state is as good as any of the top co-drivers and, considering how far she has come in just eight weeks, she could really go on to be an even better co-driver if she wants to. I’m very sorry that I cost us a higher finish with the crash on Friday, as well as a couple of other mistakes, but she can be so proud of her performance to get us here.
“I’m so pleased to have crossed the line. It has been the toughest rally I think I’ve ever done, and there have been a lot to choose from! But I cannot fault the support we have received. The fans have been wonderful, the power stage was absolutely heaving with people! And thank you to all the sponsors for getting the PlayStation®4 DRIVECLUB backed team here. Kumho have supplied us with great tyres that took a beating from me and MIS insurance were fantastic following my accident. But a really special thank you has to go to the ProSpeed boys for doing an outstanding job every time I made a mess of the car.”
Peta couldn’t hide her emotions after reaching the finish line of a long and exhausting four days:
“What can I say?! I didn’t know what to expect eight weeks ago. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions, not just over the last three days but for the entire campaign. I won’t lie, it’s a great shame we weren’t able to be a little more competitive in our class but I’ve come to learn that in rallying nothing is predictable. We could run the rally again right now without all the problems we had or have even worse luck.
“All of the team have been amazing and we wouldn’t have finished without the ProSpeed guys working through both nights so a massive thanks to them and everyone else involved. Personally I’ve been pushed to the very edge, but the admiration I now have for the rallying world is second to none. Thank you to all the fans that lined the stages. It’s an experience I will never forget!”