Mitch Guthrie Jr. and Marek Goczal were victorious in Monday’s Stage 2 of the 2023 Dakar Rally, a 430-kilometer special stage route from Sea Camp to Al Ula. Guthrie’s T3 class-winning stage time of 5:38:31 was 1:25 clear of overall leader and defending winner Chaleco Lopez, while Goczal backed up his son Eryk’s Stage 1 victory with a nearly 10-minute victory that enabled him to take the T4 class lead.
For Guthrie, the stage win was the first of a star-crossed Dakar career thus far. His first two attempts at the event thus far ended in DNFs, while last year’s attempt was aborted before it could begin due to an unfortunately timed positive COVID test just days before the rally. Up to now, though, he’s been right in the fight, opening the rally proper with a sixth-place stage finish before winning today’s stage.
Guthrie’s stage win bumped him up to fourth overall, one of three Americans in the T3 top five alongside his Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team partners Seth Quintero in second and AJ Jones in fifth. Quintero sits 8:43 behind Lopez in second, still searching for his first stage win of 2023 after taking six as a 2021 rookie and a record 12 last year. Jones rounds out the group of racers in immediate contention for the top spot, as he has a 25-minute gap to sixth place.
With defending T4 winner Jones having moved up, that class has seen a close fight between the Goczal family and Rokas Baciuska, who was fastest on the first stage before taking a 15-minute penalty. All three Goczals are in the top five of the overall rankings after Stage 2, with Marek leading his son Eryk in fourth and brother Michal in fifth, as Rodrigo Luppi and Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli in third.
2023 Dakar Rally Stage 2 winners were as follows:
- Lightweight Prototype: Mitch Guthrie Jr., 5:38:31
- SSV: Marek Goczal, 5:45:31
2023 Dakar Rally class leaders are as follows:
- Lightweight Prototype: Chaleco Lopez, 9:37:36
- SSV: Marek Goczal, 10:07:18
Coverage of today’s Dakar Rally action will debut on Peacock at 6:30PM ET. Tomorrow’s Stage 2 will see racers trek to Ha’il, with 447 kilometers of special stages that bring them through a series of challenging canyons.