WTCR introduces driver-designed numbers for 2019

The World Touring Car Cup will follow the lead of MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi for 2019 after revealing that drivers are to be encouraged to give their race number its own unique look and feel.

Rossi’s #46 has become an iconic part of motorcycle racing and drivers racing in WTCR this year have been given the opportunity to create their own special designs – having already been able to select the number in which they compete.

Whilst the designs won’t feature on the sides or windscreens of the cars on track, they can be used inside a car to appear on onboard cameras and for a range of other purposes – such as on race suits and TV graphics.

Reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini is amongst the first drivers to have designed his own number having elected to run #1 for the defence of his crown.

“I have left my lucky number 30 and I have chosen number 1,” he said. “The logo for the 2019 campaign will be GT1 from the initials of my name and the number 1. And I have put it together with a picture of a wild pig because from the beginning of my career everybody in motorsport was calling me this.”

Esteban Guerrieri is another driver to have now created his own design, with a tiger adorning the #86 that he will whilst competing in his Honda Civic.

“The tiger is not my favourite animal but it’s solitary, it follows its prey, analyses the situation and when it attacks it’s very decisive, which is a bit like my personality in some ways although I’m not solitary!” he said. “I’m very open and social but there are times when I like to be alone to work, to improve myself in every area. Plus, there is the eyes. Many people highlight my eyes as one of my main features, like I have the eyes of a tiger.”

Further designs and the stories behind them will be released in the run up to the start of the new season in Morocco in early April.