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René Rast chooses existing race number for title defence

The trend of the #1 not being run by the defending champion in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters will continue in 2018, as Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s René Rast will use his existing race number #33 for the forthcoming season, which starts in May at Hockenheim. 

This is still a trend within motorsport, as both F1 champion Lewis Hamilton and MotoGP champion Marc Marquez still use their respective race numbers without opting to use the #1. Rast’s application to use his race number is still under review by the DTM commission at present.

Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann was the last active driver to do so in 2015, with Pascal Wehrlein taking the title that season, having moved on to Formula One the following year.

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Along with Rast being the first driver to have announced his continued stay in the series for the 2018 season, several new numbers have been chosen for this year.

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM’s returning Daniel Juncadella has opted for a number change, switching from #12 to #23, which is a tribute to a close friend who passed away, following a motorbike accident.

“He was born on 05th May. 2 + 3 = 5 and two threes are 33. Therefore the #23,” explained the Spaniard, who returns for his fifth season.

BMW rookies Philipp Eng and Joel Eriksson have decided on #25 and #47, with Audi Sport’s Robin Frijns taking #4.

The Dutch driver, who has raced with Audi in sportscars, felt that the number itself would hopefully bring him luck: “The #4 accompanied me during my successful years in single-seater racing. I hope it will keep on doing so in DTM.”

2015 champion Wehrlein retains #94 for his return with Mercedes-AMG this year, who will start their 30th and final season in DTM in May at Hockenheim.

2018 DTM race driver numbers:

#2 – Gary Paffett

#3 – Paul Di Resta

#4 – Robin Frijns

#7 – Bruno Spengler

#11 – Marco Wittmann

#15 – Augusto Farfus

#16 – Timo Glock

#22 – Lucas Auer

#23 – Daniel Juncadella

#25 – Philipp Eng

#33 – René Rast

#47 – Joel Eriksson

#48 – Edoardo Mortara

#51 – Nico Müller

#53 – Jamie Green

#77 – Loïc Duval

#94 – Pascal Wehrlein

#99 – Mike Rockenfeller

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