Sordo’s decision to call time on his five year partnership with Marti in favour of new co-driver Diego Vallejo left Marti without a drive for the rallies in Germany and Japan and questioning his future in the sport.
But the Spaniard was convinced to get back in the co-driving seat after an offer from Andorran Albert Llovera, a paraplegic who drives a specially adapted Grande Punto Abarth in the S-WRC. The pair, both 44, will make a one-off appearance together on their home event, Rally de Espana which starts on 21 October.
Martí said: “I have a solid friendship with Albert; we’ve known each other for many years. I think Albert is admirable considering how well he has been able to overcome his difficulties, and he is also an excellent person.
“When I stopped racing with Sordo he asked me to race together at the RallyRACC, but at that time I wasn’t really fond of going back to racing. But then, thinking it over, I realised that taking part in our home rally, with somebody I admire so much and who could use my help, somebody who is a true example for our sport, would be an excellent culmination for my sports career, so I thought, why not? Besides, being at the RallyRACC but out of the S-WRC will allow us to make a better work on Albert’s notes, and enjoy a lot more of this wonderful rally, without actually interfering with the job of his current co-driver, Borja Rozada.”
Llovera will tackle Rallye de France next week with Rozada but said the opportunity to drive in Spain with Marti, a six time Spanish champion, was too good too miss. “I asked him some time ago and my wish will finally come true,” said Llovera. “I wanted to race with Marc not only because he is a long-time friend of mine, but also because I wanted to have somebody with huge experience by my side who will be able to help me improving. It is a great chance for me to learn, to have new feelings next to a great professional.
“I really enjoy working and evolving; I’m actually up for everything. The fact of having a co-driver of such a class working with me is of great value, and for him, it shouldn’t be any more difficult than usual. I will have the privilege of racing with a co-driver who has already been on top of the World Championship.”
Marti has no WRC rallies planned beyond Rally de Espana, but isn’t ruling out a full time return. “I don’t know what I am going to do in the future. I don’t want to race just for the sake of racing; I would, if there would be an interesting programme or a truly motivating option as the one Albert has offered me. My idea is to enjoy doing things.”
"I asked him some time ago and my wish will finally come true"