Thursday | 21 May 2020

Co-driver week: Home shakedown with….Martin Järveoja

World champion co-driver Martin Järveoja has swapped life in the high-pressure cockpit of a World Rally Car for the controls of a digger during the enforced break from WRC action.

Järveoja has been busy renovating his grandparents’ farm in Estonia and has taught himself to master an excavator as he grapples with the rebuilding work.

In the latest in a series spotlighting Hyundai Motorsport’s WRC stars, we caught up with Ott Tänak’s expert pace note man, who also explains how 1990s fitness videos have become all the rage in the Järveoja household in their small village near Tallinn.

Q. Martin, how are you?
A. “I am fine, I’ve been at home with my wife Maarja and children Maria and Mateo since I returned from Rally México. The situation in Estonia is slowly starting to normalise. The borders with Baltic countries are opening up, as well as schools, shopping malls, gyms and pools. However ,we are still in an emergency situation, so we must keep distance and stay away as much as possible.”

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Q. How have you been keeping yourself busy?
A. “I’ve actually been very busy lately. We have been renovating my grandparents’ old farm. It was in a really bad condition, so I’ve been channeling the character Wreck-it Ralph quite a lot. I’ve learned to work with an excavator which has been a lot of fun.”

Q. How else have you been keeping fit?
A. “The weather in Estonia is pretty nice, so I’ve been running and going cycling with friends which I enjoy a lot. At the beginning of the lockdown period, all the indoor gyms and activity facilities were closed down. My wife really got into some fitness videos on YouTube, so I started to join her as well. We were doing some really old school stuff from the 90s – the older it is, the better! Our five-year-old daughter also got involved. But now as the weather is getting better, it is more enjoyable to train outside again.”

Video: Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2020 magazine

Q. With two children at home, how are you keeping them entertained?
A. “We’ve been watching a lot of cartoons. Peppa Pig is top of our playlist. After three years in the WRC bubble, I was hoping to spend a little bit more time with my family. Now that I have it, I think I have to make the most out of it.”

Q. Have you remained in contact with members of the team?
“Andrea [team principal Adamo] has been texting regularly to check in and see how I am doing – it’s really nice he is taking the time to do so. He has a big family, over 200 people to ask how they are feeling. Of course, we don’t know when this will end but we are trying to keep a positive mentality. I know my driver is always saying let’s keep pushing, and we have to think about the future and be prepared to get back to competing.”

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