Martin Järveoja still hopes to be able to defend his FIA World Rally Championship title this year, but in recent months Ott Tänak’s co-driver has been renovating his grandparents’ farm.

The lockdown is beginning to ease in Estonia, and from the small village where he lives just outside Tallinn, the Hyundai Motorsport navigator is increasing his fitness regime with more running and cycling – in preparation for the return of the WRC. Whenever and wherever that will be of course.

So despite no rally action, it’s been a busy time for Martin – as this great Q&A explains.

Martin, how are you?
“I am fine, I’ve been at home with my wife Maarja and children Maria and Mateo since I returned from Rally Mexico. 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.”

How have you been keeping yourself busy?
“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.”

How else have you been keeping fit?
“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 got really 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.”

With two children at home, how are you keeping them entertained?
“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.”

Have you added any new skills to your repertoire during this time?
“As I mentioned before, I’m now a pro in demolition work! If you need an excavator man then let me know.”

Have you remained in contact with members of the team?
“Andrea [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.”

Do you have a message for the fans?
“At the start I was a bit happy to have a little break, but now I’m really missing rallying. Sometimes when you need something, when you’re passionate and you have to wait for it, then in the end when it finally happens the more satisfied you are. I think it’s the case for everybody – the fans, the teams, and the crews. For sure the feeling when we finally get a chance to sit in the car again will be at the maximum level.”

Martin Järveoja wears a Stilo WRC DES Zero 8860 helmet and Alpinestars race suit.