We often are told that the opposite is the case but sometimes, life is a bowl of cherries, nevertheless. When the DTM drivers roll on the starting grid, this year, their cars will be decorated – for the first time – with numbers selected by them. Each of the 24 world-class drivers who are going to race one of the Audi RS 5 DTM, BMW M4 DTM or Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM vehicles was offered the opportunity to mention his favourite number, prior to the season. The clou: the numbers selected this year also may be taken along to the coming seasons. So, for long-term DTM drivers such as Matthias Ekström, Paul Di Resta or Martin Tomczyk, their numbers represents additional identification features.
Only one number will be newly assigned year by year and it’s the favourite number for any racing driver:: we are talking about the #1 for the defending champion. In 2015, it will decorate the BMW M4 DTM of Marco Wittmann. “I will enjoy every single race with the #1 on the car,” the BMW driver says grinning. “Hadn’t I won the title, I’d opted for racing with the #11 on my car.”
For the majority of the drivers, the respective selected number has got a special meaning. “For me, the 18 is linked with a kind of time travel,” reveals Augusto Farfus (BMW). “Back in 1992, I contested my first kart races with this number. A lot of nice memories are connected with the #18 and I would love to continue my personal success story with this number in DTM.” Christian Vietoris (Mercedes AMG) opted for the #8 for similar reasons: “In the past, I always was successful with this number. For me, this number stands for good feelings, luck and success. I won – for instance – the Formula BMW title in superior style, with the #8.” Audi driver Nico Müller also selected ‘his’ #51 for historical reasons: it was the number he contested his very first kart race with.
At the end of the day, a dose of superstitiousness made an impact on the choice of many drivers – and this also applies to Mike Rockenfeller (Audi, #99): “The 9 always was a good number for me. And so I thought that things jus can’t go wrong with two nines on my car,” he admitted. Fellow Audi driver Timo Scheider chose the #10, “As the #1 I had on my car some years go also was assigned. For me, it is a symbol, telling me that I have achieved a goal.”
The starting list 2015