Dakar Rally 2022, Stage 10: Seth Quintero ties record for wins; Peterhansel wins stage

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Seth Quintero earned a slice of Dakar Rally history during Stage 10 of the 2022 event as its most decorated competitor took the overall checkered flag Wednesday.

Stephane Peterhansel, the 14-time winner known as “Mr. Dakar,” won the car category in the 759-kilometer segment from Wadi Ad-Dawasir to Bisha.

Peterhansel finished more than 2 minutes ahead of Audi teammate Carlos Sainz, and Orlando Terranova finished third for Bahrain Extreme.

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By triumphing in Stage 10 Peterhansel joined teammates Sainz and Mattias Ekstrom as 2022 Dakar Rally winners, ensuring that Team Audi’s trio of drivers won in the debut of the manufacturer’s  hybrid RS Q e-Tron. After a poor opening stage for the Audi trio amid complaints from Sainz that FIA regulations left the electric car underpowered, the team sorted out mechanical gremlins, suspension challenges and weight disadvantages.

“It was a perfect day for us,” Peterhansel said. “No navigation mistakes, no issues. I was waiting for this day. Usually, it’s not my goal to try to win a stage, but this year, it’s special.

“We haven’t had any big mechanicals since the start of the second week, so we’re making good progress and having fun driving the car. I’m not necessarily a stage hunter, but each Audi driver has now won a stage, and that’s fantastic. When Carlos became the first driver to win a Dakar stage in an electric car, it was a milestone, now we confirmed that performance. This is good for morale, not least because it comes after a complicated start to the rally. We need to win in 2023. Failure is not an option.”

With two stages remaining, Nasser Al-Attiyah (who was seventh Wednesday) still holds the overall lead by 32 minutes, 40 seconds over Sebastien Loeb.

“We completed the stage without losing too much time,” said Al-Attiyah, who is trying to notch his fourth overall Dakar Rally championship. “We only conceded a minute to ‘Séb’, so we’ll start in a decent position tomorrow. We had no punctures today, the car was just perfect and Mathieu navigated well. We’re getting there, little by little. I said I didn’t want to take risks, I simply want to set a high pace.

“It’s not over yet, there are still two days to go and even a podium spot will be hard to get. We’ve been thinking of victory since Day 1. We’re not here to win stages. Last year we took seven and finished second, this time we’ve only claimed two and we’re in the lead.”

Said Loeb: “What I’ve been saying from the beginning is that I wanted to give it my all every day and see how it worked out. In terms of raw performance, even if we go full blast, it is hard to open up a gap, as the Audis are always faster and we struggle to match their pace. We’re second now, the gap is too big and the race is no longer in our hands, but we’re still hanging in there.”

Meanwhile, Quintero remained unbeaten for the eighth consecutive stage in light prototype, triumphing by more than 2 minutes over teammate Cristina Gutierrez Herrero.

NEVER GIVE UP: Seth Quintero focused on breaking Dakar Rally stage win record

“It’s nuts,” Quintero said. “I’m mind-blown. I’m going to have a heart attack. You never know. We don’t have our phones in the car, so we can’t look at the times. We try to get a rough gauge at the fuel stops. We lost 3 or 4 minutes trying to find a waypoint that we missed. It’s kind of a mess today, but magically we’re here.

“I’m stoked about it. I’ve got two more stages to go, so we’ll try to go on ticking them off. To tie a record that was set 18 years before I was born is absolutely amazing. I really want to try and make everyone back home proud.”

With his 10th victory in Stage 10 of the 2022 Dakar Rally (nine specials plus the prologue), the San Marcos, California, native tied the event record for stage wins set by Pierre Lartigue during a 17-stage Dakar in 1994.

Though the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team driver is out of class title contention because of his Stage 2 mechanical failure, Quintero, 19, will have two more stages to try to break and extend the record.

Other notable developments Wednesday:

–Austin Jones finished fifth in Stage 10 of the 2022 Dakar Rally, and the American maintained an 11-minute lead in the SSV division.

“It’s been hard,” Jones said. “All these guys are really fast, everyone’s really good this year, everyone’s doing really well. The competition’s hard. My navigator is doing a great job, my team (is) giving me a great car and supporting me every day. It’s not too big of a lead, but as long as we maintain this to the finish, it doesn’t matter if you win by a second or an hour, a win’s a win.”

–Pablo Copetti fell out of contention in Quad, losing nearly eight hours during an eighth-place finish.

–Defending bike winner Kevin Benavides was knocked out of contention by an engine failure.

Here are the stage winners and the top three overall in each category after Stage 10 of the 2022 Dakar Rally:

Car

Stage 10 winner: Stephane Peterhansel (FRA), 2:52:43. Overall: 1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), Toyota Gazoo Racing, 33:13:37; 2. Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Bahrain Raid Extreme, 33:46:17; 3. Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU), Overdrive Toyota, 34:09:25.

Bike

Stage 10 winner: Toby Price (AUS), 3:05:32: Overall: 1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, 33:27:06; 2. Sam Sunderland (GBR), GasGas Factory Racing, 33:33:05; 3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Monster Energy Honda, 33:33:21. Other U.S. notables: 7. Andrew Short, Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, 34:01:03; 8. Mason Klein, BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team, 34:04:55; 9. Ricky Brabec, Monster Energy Honda, 34:05:11. Withdrew: Skyler Howes, Husqvarna Factory Racing.

Truck

Stage 10 winner: Dmitry Sotnikov (RAF), 3:14:15. Overall: 1. Dmitry Sotnikov (RAF), Kamaz-Master 35:58:08; 2. Eduard Nikolaev (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 36:08:26; 3. Anton Shibalov (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 36:42:35.

Light prototype

Stage 10 winner: Seth Quintero (USA), 3:22:11. Overall: 1. Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHL), EKS — South Racing, 39:43:03; 2. Sebastian Eriksson (SWE), EKS — South Racing, 40:38:59; 3. Fernando Alvarez (ESP), South Racing Can-Am, 39:43:03. Notable: 10. Seth Quintero (USA), Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team USA, 54:42:33.

SSV

Stage 10 winner: Rokas Baciuska (LTU), 3:36:55. Overall: 1. Austin Jones (USA), Can-Am Factory South Racing, 40:55:24; 2. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP), Can-Am Factory South Racing, 41:07:18; 3. Michal Goczal (POL), Cobant-Energylandia Rally Team, 41:11:02.

Quad

Stage 10 winner: Marcelo Medeiros (BRA), 4:11:04. Overall: 1. Alexandre Giroud (FRA), Yamaha Racing – SMX -Drag’on, 42:21:01; 2. Kamil Wisniewski (POL), Orlen Team, 44:57:47; 3. Francisco Moreno (ARG), Drag’on Rally Team, 45:04:32.


PAST RECAPS

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

DAY 2Sebastien Loeb wins; Austin Jones takes SSV lead

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

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

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

DAY 6Quintero continues impressive win streak in lightweight prototype

DAY 7Loeb wins in overall; Jones retakes SSV lead

DAY 8DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom wins first stage

DAY 9: Americans charging as Seth Quintero nears win record

Heather Lyne, Dennis Erb Jr. make history in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series

Lyne Erb Outlaws Late
Jacy Norgaard / World of Outlaws
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More than two decades in the making, the pairing of Heather Lyne and Dennis Erb Jr. produced a historical milestone in Dirt Late Model.

Last month, Erb and his long-time crew chief Lyne won their first World of Outlaws Late Model Championship and with this achievement, Lyne became the first female crew chief to win in a national late model series. Their journey together goes back 21 years and tells the story of hard work, persistence and belief in oneself.

After a career-best season with the World of Outlaws, Erb and Lyne secured the points championship at US 36 Raceway in Osborn, Mo. with three races remaining in the season. The consistency and success of their season came down to pinpoint focus. Lyne and Erb are a team of two living out a David vs. Goliath tale. In order to be as successful as possible this year the duo knew they had to do as much as possible with the resources they had.

“It’s always a challenge when you only have two people, both at the racetrack and at the shop,” Lyne told NBC Sports. “I also work full time, so during the day, Dennis has to do a significant amount of work so that when I get down there I can start working and maintaining. It’s planning ahead. It’s having that system in place and making sure that you’re prepared ahead of time.

“When you have a problem at the track, making sure you have all that stuff ready so it’s a quick change and not a lengthy process to make a repair. We had zero DNFs in the World of Outlaws, we had only one DNF out of 96 races [combined among all series].”

Dennis Erb clinched his 2022 championship before the World of Outlaws World Finals. Jacy Norgaard – World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Taming Time

This was not an easy feat. Between a full travel schedule and Lyne’s full-time job as an engineer, time comes at a premium. What they lack in time and resources they made up for in patience and planning.

“We buckled down, and we got all the equipment that we needed back, motors freshened, and things of that nature,” Lyne said about the mid-point of last season. “We were able to keep up with that. We just had a higher focus. I tried to reduce my hours at my day job as much as I possibly could while still maintaining what I need to get done at work. I got rid of a lot of the other distractions and got a more refined system in place at the shop.

“We did certain tasks on certain days so we had time to recover. We were on the road a little bit more, as opposed to coming home to the shop. So we had to be more prepared to stay out on those longer runs. It was just really staying on top of things a little more. It was a heightened sense.”

This was Lyne and Erb’s fourth full season with the Outlaws, but they’ve been on the road together for the last 21 seasons starting in 2001. Their partnership began with Lyne’s bravery. When one door closed, she was quick to open another. In 2001, Lyne’s dad was ready to stop racing. Her mother wanted to regain her weekends, but Lyne knew this was her life path and wasn’t prepared to lose it.

“I’ve always been a tomboy at heart,” Lyne said. “I watched racing with my dad. Growing up he watched NASCAR. In high school, I got tired of playing at the lake house, so I went to the local dirt track and fell in love with it. I just couldn’t get enough. It took a year for me to convince my dad to come to the track with me. He finally did and we sponsored a car that year, the following year he started to race limited cars. He ran hobby stocks and limited late models.”

At some point, Lyne and her father’s level of commitment drifted apart.

“He did it for about five years,” Lyne said. “And then my mom said: ‘I’m done racing. I want my weekends back. It’s just not fun anymore.’ I wasn’t ready to hang up my wenches and Dennis raced out of the same hometown so I, on a dare, went down and introduced myself; told him if you ever need any help, I’ll drill out rivets, I’ll help wash, whatever you need. Twenty-one years later here I am.”

Heather Lyne became the first female crew chief to secure a national touring late model championship in 2022. Paul Arch / World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Breaking Through

Lyne entered a male-dominated job in a field that is also male-dominated – and where there were few examples of women creating these places for themselves. In this way, Lyne became a blueprint for other women as they strive to find a place for themselves in racing and in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) overall. She has her mother to thank for providing a strong role model, her father for sharing her passion, Erb for taking a chance on an unknow entity and most importantly herself.

“I was raised to believe that I can do anything, I want to do, as long as I put my heart and soul into it.” Lyne replied when asked about role models in the sport growing up. “My parents did not raise me to have that limitation. But from a racing role model perspective, I went in there completely green and just introduced myself to Dennis, the fact that he was brave enough to take that risk and bring a girl to the racetrack. Someone he didn’t know at all speaks volumes for him.”

Lyne and Erb have learned how to survive and succeed with each other on the road. They do this by leveraging decades of combined experience and an ability to adapt to the everchanging landscape of dirt late models. Next year the World of Outlaws visits nearly a dozen new tracks and Lyne sees it as an opportunity for continued success.

“I just want to do it again,” Lyne says going into next season, “I’m looking forward to the competition, I always do. I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t competitively driven.

“There are some new tracks on the schedule that I’m looking forward to trying for the first time that I haven’t been to myself,” Lyne said of the 2023 season, “Dennis seems to do well on those first timers. We won out at Marion center, we finished second at Bloomsburg. We have a good solid notebook of information to tackle them over the last three years with these rocket race cars that we’re running. It’s good to have that information and leverage it to try some new things.”