Seth Quintero set a Dakar Rally record for victories Thursday by winning Stage 11 of the 2022 event.
The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team driver won the 501-kilometer loop around Bisha, Saudia Arabia, by more than 15 minutes in his OT3-02, marking his ninth consecutive stage victory in light prototype and 11th overall.
The San Marcos, California, native broke the Dakar single-rally stage win record set by Pierre Lartigue during a 17-stage event in 1994 — more than eight years before Quintero, 19, was born.
“It’s definitely a rewarding feeling,” Quintero said on the Dakar website. “Every day has just been an adventure in itself and I’ve just been trying to take it day-by-day. (Co-driver and navigator) Dennis (Zenz) has done an absolutely amazing job. I think I’ve been doing OK myself. It’s just been quite the adventure. For sure, Stage 2 definitely crosses my mind quite a bit, especially after a race, especially after a win, actually. It always crossed my mind that on Stage 2 if we had 30 less kilometers on that stage, we’d be looking pretty good right now.
After winning the prologue and Stage 1, Quintero’s vehicle suffered a broken differential that left him 16 hours off the overall lead in light prototype. Though it left him out of class title contention, Quintero has won every stage since the mechanical failure, which he credits for changing his mentality and racing with more abandon.
“I could have been driving differently on these last 10 stages, and we might not have got any wins,” Quintero said. “I think it was a blessing in disguise. It took a lot of pressure off us, and I really just had a lot of fun for all the Dakar. We are now the sole record holder for the most stage wins on a single Dakar which is absolutely mind-blowing.
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“We came here trying to break the record of being the youngest to ever win a Dakar but in the end we’ve broken another record. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait on the other record, but we’ll be back next year.”
It’s the second consecutive year that Quintero has set a Dakar Rally record. As a rookie last year, the teenager became the youngest stage winner in the endurance race’s 40-year history.
Here are the stage winners and the top three overall in each category after Stage 11 of the 2022 Dakar Rally:
Stage 11 winner: Carlos Sainz (ESP), 3:29:32. Overall: 1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), Toyota Gazoo Racing, 36:49:51; 2. Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Bahrain Raid Extreme, 37:23:10; 3. Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU), Overdrive Toyota, 37:53:34.
Stage 11 winner: Kevin Benavides (ARG), 3:30:56; Overall: 1. Sam Sunderland (GBR), GasGas Factory Racing, 37:04:05; 2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Monster Energy Honda, 37:10:57; 3. Matthias Walkner (AUT), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 37:11:20. Other U.S. notables: 6. Ricky Brabec, Monster Energy Honda, 37:41:29; 8. Andrew Short, Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team, 37:47:45; 9. Mason Klein, BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team, 37:55:14. Withdrew: Skyler Howes, Husqvarna Factory Racing.
Stage 11 winner: Teruhito Sugawara (JPN), 2:47:40. Overall: 1. Dmitry Sotnikov (RAF), Kamaz-Master 39:54:53; 2. Eduard Nikolaev (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 40:03:11; 3. Anton Shibalov (RAF), Kamaz-Master, 40:59:43.
Stage 11 winner: Seth Quintero (USA), 3:57:53. Overall: 1. Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHL), EKS — South Racing, 43:56:34; 2. Sebastian Eriksson (SWE), EKS — South Racing, 44:52:10; 3. Cristina Gutierrez Herrero (ESP), Red Bull Off-Road Team USA, 48:27:56. Notable: 12. Seth Quintero (USA), Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team USA, 58:40:26.
Stage 11 winner: Marek Goczal (POL), 4:13:12. Overall: 1. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP), Can-Am Factory South Racing, 45:24:07; 2. Austin Jones (USA), Can-Am Factory South Racing, 45:25:48; 3. Michal Goczal (POL), Cobant-Energylandia Rally Team, 45:42:06.
Stage 11 winner: Marcelo Medeiros (BRA), 4:53:29. Overall: 1. Alexandre Giroud (FRA), Yamaha Racing – SMX -Drag’on, 47:26:25; 2. Francisco Moreno (ARG), Drag’on Rally Team, 50:07:49; 3. Kamil Wisniewski (POL), Orlen Team, 50:11:20.
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