Dakar: Bonetto wins Stage 3 quads; Mardeev rumbles to truck lead (VIDEO)


Argentine quad racer Lucas Bonetto scored a home win in Tuesday’s Stage 3 of the Dakar Rally, while Rafal Sonik fell from the overall lead in the category.

Bonetto trailed countryman Sebastian Halpern at the second checkpoint by three minutes, but roared down the stretch to beat Halpern to the finish by 58 seconds.

Sonik finished third in the stage at 2 minutes, 14 seconds back of Bonetto, and with Ignacio Casale being late to start on Tuesday, it appeared that the Pole had extended his overall edge.

But Dakar officials hit Sonik after the stage with a 15-minute time penalty for reasons that remain undisclosed.

With that, Uruguay’s Sergio Lafuente has now assumed the overall lead by a mere 11 seconds over Casale, with Halpern in third at seven and a half minutes behind and Sonik now fourth at just over 10 minutes back.

As for the trucks, Ayrat Mardeev followed up his podium finish on Monday with a stage win on Tuesday that pushed him to the overall lead.

The KAMAZ driver has had a steady start to the Dakar with finishes of sixth and third preceding his triumph from San Juan to Chilecito.

Defending truck champ Andrey Karginov, another KAMAZ racer, finished second on Tuesday behind Mardeev by roughly two minutes. Third place went to Gerard de Rooy, the 2014 runner-up from Iveco, who finished four and a half minutes out.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images

Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.