Only 72 hours after agreeing to co-drive for Tony Jardine, Peta completes Trackrod Rally Yorkshire in 13th place overall
With all the odds stacked against her and major problems to overcome, former glamour model Peta Todd has managed to finish her very first national rally. Todd who was born in Newham, East London, and hails from Essex faced issues of motion sickness and complex navigation. Peta who only agreed to take part in the challenge on Wednesday evening has had to learn the basics of co-driving literally overnight.

Peta, wife to former World Champion cyclist Mark Cavendish, has taken on numerous challenges in the past, including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, but none with so little time to prepare.

Olly Marshall, ProSpeed team owner and mentor to Peta over the last twenty-four hours commented: “She’s had the least training of any of Tony’s co-drivers that I’ve worked with for the last nine years. For her to successfully navigate a rally stage, let alone an entire rally, with this amount of preparation is a credit to her ability to learn and her gutsy attitude.”

With Peta’s nerves understandably getting the better of her before the rally she managed to navigate Tony through the Langdale stage of the Trackrod Yorkshire Rally with only one minor error. As Peta’s confidence grew it was obvious that she was naturally suited to the organised and meticulous sport of co-driving. They went on to complete all five special stages, picking up absolutely no penalty points along the way and finishing 13th overall in a time most seasoned teams would be proud of.

Tony commented after the rally: “It’s been a whirlwind last three days to get to this point and Peta has been a revelation. I’m stunned how she’s managed to conquer sickness, navigational and mathematical challenges, and the super-fast stages. On the last stage, which was our fastest, she was on it considering it’s her first rally and she managed to hold on until the end to be sick. An incredible effort!”

Peta added: “At first I was really nervous, I was overwhelmed by the occasion which you could tell because I was decidedly quiet on the journey to the rally. I’ve never been thrown in the deep end quite like that and was terrified I would let Tony down. But after the first stage I began to find my feet and felt like I really nailed the second stage. The biggest problem for me was suffering with motion sickness, especially towards the end of the rally. Tony told me we’d set a really good time so I just had to pull myself together and concentrate so all the hard work wasn’t wasted.”

In order for Peta to receive her International co-drivers licence and subsequently compete alongside Tony at Wales Rally GB (13 – 16 November) they will need to finish three national rallies over the next six weeks. It’s still an uphill challenge with a huge amount to pack in to such a short time frame. Peta will need to put in long hours of studying in order to get to a level that will allow the team to be competitive with the top drivers in their class. However their campaign has begun as successfully as they could have wished for, Peta and Tony will welcome a great deal more time before their next rally in order to strengthen their partnership and climb further up the leader board.

Peta and Tony will next be competing at the Cambrian Rally, North Wales, on Saturday 18 October 2014.