Dakar Rally 2022, Day 3: Solid results for U.S. drivers and riders in the desert


Led by Seth Quintero’s stage victory in the light prototype class, drivers and riders racing under the U.S. banner had a strong Day 3 of the 2022 Dakar Rally.

Quintero rebounded Tuesday for his third stage victory this year during the endurance classic in Saudi Arabia. A broken differential during the second stage had knocked the American from the overall lead and a shot at title contention after winning the prologue and first stage.

Despite the victory, Quintero still is ranked 25th and nearly 17 hours off the overall lead because of Monday’s time losses. At 19, he was trying to become the youngest Dakar Rally winner in history.

DAKAR RALLY ON NBC: How to watch nightly coverage at the Olympic Channel

“For sure, it’s definitely been quite a Dakar,” Quintero said. “We’ve got three wins out of the four stages that we’ve done, which is awesome, but unfortunately, we’re very far down on the overall. Last night we got back to the bivouac at about four o’clock in the morning and hit the road at 8 a.m. and here we are with a stage win by about six minutes.

“We couldn’t have had a better day and we’re going to keep on chugging along and grab some more wins. It is definitely difficult to keep the motivation going knowing that we are out of the overall classification, but we’re just going to try and score some championship points and keep moving. We’re just going to try and keep ticking off the wins and hopefully we can grab a few more.”

The best American hope for a class victory now might be Austin Jones, who remained the overall leader by over 5 minutes in SSV after a fourth-place finish Tuesday in the 636-kilometer segment around Al Qaysumah.

In the bike division, American riders had their best showing of the 2022 Dakar Rally. Mason Klein finished third Tuesday, just over a minute behind stage winner Joaquim Rodrigues and the first of four Americans in the top eight. Skyler Howes took fourth, followed by former Supercross star Andrew Short (sixth) and 2020 Dakar winner Ricky Brabec (seventh).

Howes, who has moved to Husqvarna Factory Racing this year after strong showings as a privateer, is ranked fourth overall and just under 4 minutes behind Sam Sunderland.

“Today was the first time that in my life that I’ve opened the track on the Dakar rally,” Howes said. “It was a cool feeling, and I’m super proud of the way I navigated. It wasn’t exactly perfect, but I did a pretty good job. I started fourth on the track and I crossed the line physically first, so yes, this was a really cool day. There were some tricky notes out there, some hidden waypoints that were difficult to find, but luckily we got them all and reached the finishing line safely.

“I wouldn’t say I pushed to the maximum today. I rode what I thought was a comfortable pace, though the pace is really high now on the Dakar, it’s almost like a sprint race. So, if you don’t push every day you’re going to be off the pace. So, today I rode fairly conservatively but still within my means. I’m proud of it. It’s really cool to be on the pace. I mean, last year I was on a rental bike as a privateer and now I’m here on a factory Husqvarna competing against the best in the world so it’s really cool.”

In the Quad category, Pablo Copetti, an Argentine who races under the U.S. banner, maintained his overall lead with a Stage 3 victory.

Nasser Al-Attiyah continued to hold the overall lead of the 2022 Dakar Rally in the cars division over Sebastien Loeb (who lost more than 30 minutes with a mechanical failure that left him with two-wheel drive). Three-time event winner Carlos Sainz scored the first stage victory Tuesday (and the 40th of his career) in an Audi RS Q e-Tron.

“For sure, I’m disappointed,” Loeb said. “I’m happy to be at the end of the stage losing only 33 minutes – it could have been even worse, but that’s like it is. The fight with Nasser will be very difficult. He is far in front.”

Al-Attiyah said he drove more cautiously after Loeb struggled.

“I think Seb had a problem with the car and we just tried to take it easy without any risks,” Al-Attiyah said. “I’m quite happy to finish the stage without any problems. This will be good (as Wednesday) is a very long stage. I think we need to be really careful on the long stages.

“Today was a good day for us. I wasn’t surprised to be caught by Carlos because I was going very slowly. It was not a surprise because my main target is Sébastien Loeb not Carlos Sainz. I don’t need to fight with Carlos because he is too far from us.”

There are nine stages remaining in the race.

Here are the top three in each category after Day 3:


Stage 3 winner: Carlos Sainz (ESP), 2:26:51. Overall: 1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), Toyota Gazoo Racing, 9:31:22; 2. Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Bahrain Raid Extreme, 10:09:02; 3. Lucio Alvarez (ARG), Overdrive Toyota, 10:13:28.


Stage 3 winner: Joaquim Rodrigues (PRT), 2:34:41. Overall: 1. Sam Sunderland (GBR), GasGas Factory Racing, 11:13:40; 2. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, 11:13:44; 3. Matthias Walkner (AUS), GasGas Factory Racing, 11:15:10. Other U.S. notables: 4. Skyler Howes, Husqvarna Factory Racing, 11:17:35; 13. Mason Klein, BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team, 11:39:55; 16. Andrew Short, Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, 11:45:45; 20. Ricky Brabec, Monster Energy Honda, 12:04:19.


Stage 3 winner: Dmitry Sotnikov (RAF), 2:43:25. Overall: 1. Dmitry Sotnikov (RAF), Kamaz-Master 10:42:32; 2. Eduard Nikolaev (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 10:54:17; 3. Andrey Karginov (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 11:02:16.

Light prototype

Stage 3 winner: Seth Quintero (USA), 2:52:23. Overall: 1. Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHL), EKS — South Racing, 11:27:54; 2. Sebastian Eriksson (SWE), EKS — South Racing, 11:37:03; 3. Pavel Lebedev (RAF) MSK Rally Team, 11:54:59.


Stage 3 winner: Marek Goczal (POL), 2:58:46. Overall: 1. Austin Jones (USA), Can-Am Factory South Racing, 11:53:53; 2. Rodrigo Luppi De Oliveira (BRA), South Racing Can-Am, 11:59:16; Gerard Farres Guell (ESP) 12:07:57.


Stage 3 winner: Pablo Copetti (USA) 3:12:48. Overall: 1. Pablo Copetti (USA), Del Amo Motorsports/Yamaha Rally Team, 14:10:56; 2. Alexandre Giroud (FRA), Yamaha Racing – SMX -Drag’on, 14:26:25; 3. Aleksandir Maksimov (RAF), Chyr Mari, 14:40:08.

Ryan Hunter-Reay hired as replacement for Conor Daly at Ed Carpenter Racing

Ryan Hunter-Reay Carpenter
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ryan Hunter-Reay was named to replace Conor Daly in Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Dallara-Chevrolet, starting in the NTT IndyCar Series event next week at Road America.

Hunter-Reay is the 2012 series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner. He finished 11th for Dreyer & Reinbold last month in the 107th Indy 500, his first start since the 2021 season finale. He drove full time for Andretti Autosport from 2010-21.

“We need to improve our competitiveness and I wanted to add a fresh perspective from a driver like Ryan who has a massive amount of experience and success as well as a reputation as a team leader. I am excited to welcome Ryan to the team,” team owner Ed Carpenter said in a team release. “We have worked together in the past as teammates and he tested for ECR at Barber Motorsports Park in October 2021, where he made an immediate impact as we were able to qualify one of our cars on the pole following that test. I am confident that his experience and technical abilities will be an asset to ECR as we move forward toward our goals as a team.”

Hunter-Reay has 18 IndyCar victories, most recently in 2018. He also is a winner in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, having been a part of winning entries in the 2020 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 2018 Petit Le Mans. Last year, he was an endurance driver for Cadillac Racing while being on standby for Chip Ganassi Racing.

He replaces Daly, whose departure was announced a day earlier in what the driver and team said was a mutual decision.

“I was surprised when I got the call from Ed,” Hunter-Reay said in a team release. “He described how frustrated he was that his team has not been able to realize its potential despite their efforts, investments, as well as technical and personnel changes over the past few years and asked for my help. Ed and I are very close friends and have been for a long time. I’ve worked with the team in the past and they are a very talented group with high expectations and a committed partner in BITNILE.COM.

“This will certainly be a challenge for me as well. It’s a tough situation jumping in a car in the middle of the season without any testing in what I believe to be the most competitive series in the world. Certainly, part of my motivation in saying ‘yes’ to Ed is the great challenge ahead. The last time I turned right driving an NTT IndyCar Series car was in October of 2021 with this team at Barber. However, I remain very confident in both my driving and technical abilities and believe by working with the talented people at ECR and Team Chevy, while representing BITNILE.COM, we will make progress. I am going to do everything I can do to help the team achieve its long-term objectives.”

Said Milton “Todd” Ault, the chairman of sponsor BitNile.com: “It is great for BitNile.com to be aligned with an Indy 500 Winner and an NTT IndyCar Series champion. I have followed Ryan’s career for years and I am confident he will challenge the entire ECR team to perform at higher levels. I wish everyone luck at Road America.”