THREE, TWO - BUT NO NUMBER ONE: DTM STARTING NUMBERS ALLOCATED
The official starting numbers for the 2006 DTM season have been allocated. From the season opener at Hockenheim (April 7-9) onwards, the 20 drivers in the 2006 DTM will be racing with starting numbers ranging from 2 to 22.
The number 1 will not be on the grid this year as reigning champion, Briton Gary Paffett, was signed by the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team after his DTM success. The fact that number 13 is not being used, is common practice in the DTM, like in many other sports as well.
Some starting numbers have a special significance, or could at least be considered as doing so. For instance, Audi works driver Matthias Ekström is racing with number 5, the very number that he also had on his car in his championship-winning season.
For Ekström's Danish fellow-Audi-driver, the 7 almost has a magic touch to it: not only is Kristensen's birthday listed as 07-07-1967, he also used this number on his way to winning the Japanese Formula 3 championship in 1993. Moreover, he scored his first win at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1997 with starting number 7. Meanwhile, indeed, he has won this race seven times.
Like last year already, Mercedes-Benz works driver Mika Häkkinen is competing in the DTM with starting number 8. With the same number, he became Formula 1 World Champion with McLaren Mercedes for the first time in 1998.
From April 9 onwards, the 20 DTM drivers will be battling in ten season rounds for the DTM title and the starting number 1 for the 2007 season. Before that, all teams and drivers present themselves at the big DTM presentation in Düsseldorf on March 26. At the Königsallee, the programme includes demonstration runs of DTM cars, pit stop contests, autograph sessions and a live concert by Melanie C on the Vodafone stage.
STARTING NUMBERS OF THE 2006 DTM
No. Driver / Team Manufacturer
2. Bernd Schneider: Vodafone AMG-Mercedes Mercedes-Benz
3. Jamie Green: Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes Mercedes-Benz
4. Martin Tomczyk: Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi
5. Mattias Ekström: Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi
6. Heinz-Harald Frentzen: Audi Sport Team Abt Audi
7. Tom Kristensen: Audi Sport Team Abt Audi
8. Mika Häkkinen: AMG-Mercedes Mercedes-Benz
9. Bruno Spengler: DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes Mercedes-Benz 10. Jean Alesi: Stern AMG-Mercedes Mercedes-Benz
11. Alexandros Margaritis: Truck Store AMG-Mercedes Mercedes-Benz
12. Christian Abt: Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi
14. Pierre Kaffer: Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi
15. Frank Stippler: Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi
16. Timo Scheider: Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi
17. Stefan Mücke: TV-Spielfilm Mücke Motorsport Mercedes-Benz
18. Daniel La Rosa: TrekStor Mücke Motorsport Mercedes-Benz
19. Olivier Tielemans: Futurecom TME Audi
20. Vanina Ickx: Futurecom TME Audi
21. Mathias Lauda: AMG-Mercedes Mercedes-Benz
22. Susie Stoddart: Mücke Motorsport Mercedes-Benz