Model, mother and adventurer in battle to resume World Rally Championship Challenge.
Peta Todd will resume her quest to compete in the prestigious World Rally Championship as a co-driver after suffering a recent setback and surgery in hospital due to a painful collapsed lung injury.
Peta, who has suffered a previous collapsed lung, was released from hospital after seven days, spending a painful weekend (03 – 04 October) in early recovery. A subsequent medical check last Friday (10 October) suggested that whilst the healing process had begun, it was too early to try and compete in the Cambrian Rally this weekend (18 October). Her ProSpeed team are now hoping she will be fit in time for the Galloway Hills Rally in Dumfries (26 October), part of the highly competitive Scottish Rally Championship.
Peta (27) mother of two and wife to Mark Cavendish, the British cycling star, is used to seeing her husband fight back from injury but on this occasion she has faced her own personal battle back to fitness to try and get her challenge back on track. In what is now a race against time, she is attempting to qualify as an international rally navigator and compete in Wales Rally GB (13-16 November), the finale of the World Rally Championship and Britain’s round of the prestigious global series taking place in the legendary Welsh forests.
Peta made a stunning debut as a rally co-driver, finishing 13th overall with Tony Jardine at Rally Yorkshire on 27 September, and needs to finish two more national rally events and pass two safety and navigational tests in just four weeks to qualify for her international licence.
“Now I am up against it!” said Peta, “The clock is ticking fast and we have to finish all the events in a short space of time, but I am determined to make it, I still intend to move Mark’s medals over for mine!
“I am honestly improving every day and feeling more comfortable, but I have to admit the early days after the operation were decidedly painful. My surgeon said I may be able to take part in the Cambrian Rally at a push but my driver Tony Jardine and team boss Olly Marshall said it was too risky in case of what they called an ‘off’!
“They have managed to shoehorn in a rescheduled programme to give me an extra week of recovery, so I am relieved. Mark is still one hundred percent behind my WRGB Rally Challenge, he just said that I have to trust my own instincts in terms of my feelings of progressive fitness.”
Olly Marshall, ProSpeed team boss who is also in charge of mentoring Peta as she pursues her quest said: “We could not risk Peta being buffeted around in a rally car as early as this coming weekend, especially if the pair had an off road excursion which could be very rough and certainly disturb raw scars. By attempting the Galloway Hills Rally on 26 October then the Yorkshire Malton Rally on 02 November she has a better chance of some comfort in the navigator’s hot seat”.
The next challenge for Peta is however a little less uncomfortable as she will attend the ‘Wales Rally GB comes to London’ action media event this Wednesday (15 October). She will outline her plans to qualify as an international co-driver but won’t be required to take part in the rally demonstrations with other competitors who are hoping to also make it to Wales Rally GB. Instead she will be part of a photo call and subsequent interviews with top European Rally competitor Neil Simpson and his ex-works Skoda S2000 car, plus rally winner Wug Utting with his powerful Subaru which will be competing in Wales Rally GB.