American rookie Seth Quintero is the new leader of the T3 lightweight prototype class at the 2021 Dakar Rally, after a third place finish on stage today to back up his T3 wins in each of the past two days. Aided by the struggles of Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team teammate Cristina Gutierrez Herrero that cost her nearly an hour, Quintero now has a 44:08 lead over Gutierrez after the 813-kilometer trek from Wadi Ad-Dawasir to Riyadh.
But it was Monster Energy Can-Am T4 racer Aron Domzala who scored the overall SSV victory, posting the top time of the day at 3:16:57 to steal the victory from T3 driver Mitch Guthrie Jr. in the closing stages of the day. WRC veteran Kris Meeke also nipped Guthrie by six seconds at the finish to take top honors in the T3 class, as the two divisions were split nearly down the middle; two T3s cracked the overall podium for the first time, while four of them took spots in the overall top 10.
Domzala’s victory enabled him to gain more than three minutes on incoming stage leader Chaleco Lopez, who finished fourth on the day in T4. Lopez’s gap is now down to 3:18 over Domzala, while American Austin Jones remains in the hunt at third overall and just 8:11 out of the lead. Sergei Kariakin and Saleh Alsaif complete the T4 top five.
After dropping some time on Tuesday, factory Polaris RZR racer Wayne Matlock recovered a spot in the overall standings to finish 17th on the day and claw back to 19th overall. Kristen Matlock, soldiering on in the Dakar Experience class after her Monday incident in the dunes, finished 23rd on the day.
As the 2021 Dakar Rally continues to push towards its halfway point, tomorrow’s action sees racers head from Riyadh to Al Qaisumah with 456 kilometers of special stages and 205 kilometers of transit. Coverage of the event continues each day on NBCSN at 6PM ET/3PM PT, with the previous day’s recap at the top of the hour preceding a new recap at the bottom.
2021 Dakar Rally Stage 4 Winners
- Lightweight Prototype: Kris Meeke, 3:18:42
- SSV: Aron Domzala, 3:16:57
2021 Dakar Rally Overall Rankings
|Class||T3 (Lightweight Prototype)||T4 (SSV)|
|1st||Seth Quintero, 17:02:49||Chaleco Lopez, 16:38:57|
|2nd||Cristina Gutierrez Herrero, +44:08||Aron Domzala, +3:18|
|3rd||Mattias Ekstrom, +56:01||Austin Jones, +8:11|
|4th||Jean-Luc Pisson, +1:03:45||Sergei Kariakin, +21:39|
|5th||Jean-Pascal Besson, +1:28:42||Saleh Alsaif, +26:38|