Dakar Rally 2022, Day 6: Seth Quintero maintains win streak despite brake failure

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Seth Quintero remained the hottest driver of the 2022 Dakar Rally on Day 6, winning his fourth consecutive stage and sixth overall in the light prototype category Friday.

The American overcame a lack of brakes to keep alive his hopes of breaking the Dakar record for stage victories (10 in a 17-stage race). Quintero, 19, would need to win five of the final six stages in the endurance event.

“That was, for sure, some of the scariest driving I have ever done,” Quintero said. “The stage was super fun and super fast but unfortunately, at the refueling, we got out and saw that there was brake fluid everywhere. I ended up losing the brakes a few kilometers after refueling. So we did the whole last 150 km without any brakes. Going through the dunes with no brake pedal at all was pretty scary.

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“Somehow, we managed to do it. I’m so excited about that, super stoked about that. We’re going to keep on chugging along (and) picking them off. I heard that the record was 10 in a 17-stage Dakar, so it’s going to be tough to beat 10 in a 12-stage Dakar, but we’ll try to manage. I think (co-driver) Dennis (Zenz) and I really put a lot of time in last year spending months and months outside our home countries to test and prepare for this race, and I’m really happy that it is showing because there were a lot of months sacrificed for this, and it’s paying off.”

The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team driver said he also drove the final 50 kilometers of the stage on two-wheel drive after the rear differential broke. Quintero remains 26th overall (16 hours off the overall lead) and out of title contention because of differential failures in Stage 2.

Nasser Al-Attiyah maintained his overall lead in the car division with a 10th-place finish in Stage 6, which was won by Orlando Terranova. Al-At-Attiyah is in first by nearly 49 minutes over Yazeed Al Rajhi after Sebastien Loeb lost time and slipped to third overall with a 31st.

“I think we are in a good way,” Al-Attiyah said. “We are quite happy. We’ve worked a lot this week without any mistakes. The car is working very well. This is the Dakar, and we will try to manage next week without any risks.”

Stage 6 was the second half of a 620-kilometer loop around Riyadh with divisions trading off two separate courses on each day. But organizers elected to shorten Friday’s stage to 101 kilometers for bike and quad competitors because the track was in poor shape after cars and trucks raced it Thursday.

Daniel Sanders won the bike stage in less than an hour and moved into the top three overall.

The Dakar Rally will pause Saturday for its halfway rest break before resuming Sunday with the seventh stage from Riyadh to Al Dawadimi.

Here are the stage winners and the top three overall in each category after Day 6:

Car

Stage 6 winner: Orlando Terranova (ARG), 3:06:45. Overall: 1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), Toyota Gazoo Racing, 20:37:24; 2. Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU), Overdrive Toyota, 21:26:18; 3. Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Bahrain Raid Extreme, 21:27:49.

Bike

Stage 6 winner: Daniel Sanders (AUS), 51:43 (stage shortened to 101 kilometers). Overall: 1. Sam Sunderland (GBR), GasGas Factory Racing, 19:55:59; 2. Matthias Walkner (AUS), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 19:58:38; 3. Daniel Sanders (AUS), GasGas Factory Racing, 20:01:34. Other U.S. notables: 10. Mason Klein, BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team, 20:33:07; 11. Andrew Short, Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, 20:34:11; 15. Ricky Brabec, Monster Energy Honda, 20:45:19. Withdrew: Skyler Howes, Husqvarna Factory Racing.

Truck

Stage 6 winner: Andrey Karginov (RAF), 3:16:16. Overall: 1. Dmitry Sotnikov (RAF), Kamaz-Master 22:25:45; 2. Eduard Nikolaev (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 22:36:14; 3. Anton Shibalov (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 23:04:02.

Light prototype

Stage 6 winner: Seth Quintero (USA), 3:27:23. Overall: 1. Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHL), EKS — South Racing, 24:19:17; 2. Sebastian Eriksson (SWE), EKS — South Racing, 24:42:26; 3. Cristina Gutierrez Herrero (ESP), Red Bull Off-Road Team USA, 26:39:33. Notable: 26. Seth Quintero (USA), 40:27:44.

SSV

Stage 6 winner: Marek Goczal (POL) 3:39:24. Overall: 1. Rodrigo Luppi De Oliveira (BRA), South Racing Can-Am, 25:04:01; 2. Austin Jones (USA), Can-Am Factory South Racing, 25:10:57; 3. Michal Goczal (POL), Cobant-Energylandia Rally Team, 25:32:07.

Quad

Stage 6 winner: Aleksandr Maksimov (RAF) 1:10:10 (stage shortened to 101 kilometers). Overall: 1. Alexandre Giroud (FRA), Yamaha Racing – SMX -Drag’on, 25:18:29; 2. Pablo Copetti (USA), Del Amo Motorsports/Yamaha Rally Team, 25:23:21; 3. Aleksandr Maksimov (RAF), Chyr Mari, 25:54:44.


PAST RECAPS

DAY 1: Nasser Al-Attiyah takes overall lead as Audi drivers struggle

DAY 2: Sebastien Loeb wins; Austin Jones takes SSV lead

DAY 3: Led by Seth Quintero’s rebound victory, U.S. drivers and riders shine

DAY 4: Overall leader Nasser Al-Attiyah wins stage after penalty

DAY 5: Petrucci becomes first MotoGP veteran to win bike stage at Dakar

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.