For the third time in five stages, Seth Quintero topped the T3 lightweight prototype class at the 2021 Dakar Rally, conquering the trek from Riyadh to Al Qaisumah in 5:49:43 to extend his division lead over Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team driver Cristina Gutierrez Herrero to more than an hour and 20 minutes. Coming off a strong Wednesday, Mitch Guthrie Jr. was solid once again at second in class, while third in T3 went to PH-Sport driver Lionel Baud.
But it was T4 SSV driver and incoming class leader Chaleco Lopez who continued to top the overall lead for the UTVs, taking Khalifa Al-Attiyah down to the wire and eventually winning the stage by just a minute and 52 seconds. It was Lopez’s second stage win of 2021, and it allowed the 2019 class winner to extend his overall lead to nearly 10 minutes over Aron Domzala, who finished fourth in T4 today.
American Austin Jones remains in the hunt for the T4 win thanks to another third place finish today, which keeps him third overall and within striking distance should Lopez have an off day at any point. Jones is more than 23 minutes clear of fellow 2021 stage winner Saleh Alsaif for the final podium spot in T4, while Sergei Kariakin completes the top five, just under half a minute behind Alsaif.
As for the T3 top five, Baud’s stage podium allowed him to claw his way into it, though he still sits the better part of an hour behind Mattias Ekstrom for the final podium spot and 18 minutes behind Jean-Luc Pisson for fourth. Guthrie’s second Dakar may have started at a devastating disadvantage when he lost four hours on Stage 1, but he’s finally into the T3 top 10 after today, as 16 drivers remain in the overall hunt.
Factory Polaris RZR teammates Wayne and Kristen Matlock continued their rookie Dakar excursions with 34th and 37th place finishes in T4 today, each coming in more than an hour slower than Lopez. Nonetheless, Wayne remains firmly within the top 20 of the event, sitting in 19th place as the sixth-best rookie in T4, while Kristen continues to push forward in the Dakar Experience class.
Tonight’s Dakar Rally coverage on NBCSN kicks off with yesterday’s trek to Riyadh at 6PM ET/3PM PT, and today’s footage directly after. Tomorrow’s stage takes racers to Ha’il, where they’ll be met with the only rest day of the rally.
2021 Dakar Rally Stage 5 Winners
- Lightweight Prototype: Seth Quintero, 5:49:43
- SSV: Chaleco Lopez, 5:47:32
2021 Dakar Rally Overall Rankings
|Class||T3 (Lightweight Prototype)||T4 (SSV)|
|1st||Seth Quintero, 22:52:32||Chaleco Lopez, 22:26:29|
|2nd||Cristina Gutierrez Herrero, +1:20:12||Aron Domzala, +9:51|
|3rd||Mattias Ekstrom, +1:49:51||Austin Jones, +12:28|
|4th||Jean-Luc Pisson, +2:00:13||Saleh Alsaif, +35:39|
|5th||Lionel Baud, +2:18:34||Sergei Kariakin, +36:06|