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.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE RACE DIRECTION
The bike and quad race was stopped at the first NEU (PK101). The degradation of the track due to the passage of cars and trucks yesterday, on the top of recent heavy rains made the course impassable.
— DAKAR RALLY (@dakar) January 7, 2022
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.