Markko Martin competed within the World Rally Championship from 1997 to 2005 as an official driver for the Subaru, Ford and Peugeot manufacturing unit groups. He scored 5 wins and completed third general within the 2004 championship, his profession finest outcome. The Estonian then withdrew from the self-discipline in the course of the 2005 season following the accident which tragically killed his good friend and co-driver Michael Park throughout Rally Britain.
Martin has since made sporadic appearances in native rallies and has performed a key position in serving to his compatriot Ott Tänak to advance to WRC World Champion in 2019. The 45-year-old ex-driver now owns the automotive. The Pink Grey rally group, which manages Hyundai’s WRC2 program, a hyperlink with the world that allowed him to be current through the weekend in Greece, the place he had secured his first victory 18 years earlier. Extraordinarily low-key within the media, Martin spoke of his profession and his involvement alongside Tänak in an interview with WRC Stay.
“Now we have a protracted historical past collectively”, says Martin when requested about his relationship with the Hyundai driver, whom he has been advising repeatedly for a number of seasons. “I feel the concept is to assist Ott as a lot as doable on the various kinds of rallying. At any time when I will be a bonus I do my finest.”
When requested if he was the catalyst for abilities like Tänak, Martin added: “Initially Estonia was occupied with rallying lengthy earlier than me, however I feel it highlighted on the time that it was an entire new stage for us and that it created loads of curiosity, and this has continued and nonetheless continues in Estonia “.
Considering again to his well-known WRC victory on the 2003 Acropolis Rally, he calls this feat “particular” and took pleasure in reviewing his success within the media in latest days. A victory which, 18 years later, stays some of the emblematic moments of the WRC. Whereas he was within the lead, a poorly negotiated compression then opened the hood of his Ford Focus WRC, forcing him to complete the remaining 20 kilometers in a greater than uncomfortable place. In his mishap, the roof hatch was discovered blocked by the hood, sufficient to overheat the cabin through which he had grazed the discomfort.
“I have not gained loads of WRC rallies so I bear in mind all of them”, remembers Martin. “The primary one [victoire] is so particular as a result of she got here in a tricky method too, I had this second with the hood and thought ‘no not but’. Happily, it labored and we managed to win it. I used to be fairly shocked, not likely due to the hood, however as a result of we had misplaced so many rally wins as a result of mechanical points that my first thought was ‘not but’. We did not take into consideration stopping, so we drove like that. “
“I could not see a lot, I used to be trying by the opening of a mailbox and could not see very far in entrance of me, so it took loads of focus to see the street and the turns forward. The primary downside was that the roof air flow was blocked and there was no air coming in in any respect “, he describes. “In Greece, it was already scorching, which created increasingly more warmth within the automotive. I actually began to lose management. We managed to go all the best way, however I used to be on the breaking point. “