The first half of the 2022 Dakar Rally is in the books after Friday’s second Riyadh loop stage, as the Light Prototype and SSV classes took on the same loop that motorcycles and quads faced yesterday in the historic first split stage in event history. When all was said and done, two familiar faces topped the daily rankings, while the overall leads for both classes remain the same heading into a day off on Saturday.

It’s beyond clear now that Seth Quintero would be dominating the Light Prototype division if not for his Stage 2 mechanical issues. He’s won every stage where he hasn’t faced mechanical issues, taking today’s with a time of 3:27:23 by 11:25 over Red Bull teammate Cristina Gutierrez and 13:25 over Chaleco Lopez. Over the five stages he’s won in the first half of the rally, Quintero has beaten Lopez by a combined time of nearly 45 minutes.

20220106DAK0399 A.S.O. G.Soldano DPPI
#301 Gutierrez Herrero Cristina (spa), Cazalet Francois (fra), Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team, OT3 – 01, T3 FIA, action during the Stage 5 of the Dakar Rally 2022 around Riyadh, on January 6th 2022 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – Photo Gigi Soldano / DPPI

But the Dakar doesn’t care much for theoreticals, and so Lopez’s consistent top-five stage finishes have him atop the overall standings at 24:19:17. His lead on EKS South Racing teammate Sebastian Eriksson is now up to 23:09, as Eriksson finished fourth on stage. Gutierrez’s consistent runs over the past few days now have her third overall, but more than two hours out of the top spot.

In the SSV class, Marek Goczal’s battle to chip away at his one-hour deficit on overall leader Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira ended with another stage win today. Goczal beat Luppi to the finish line by 3:04 today, with Sergei Kariakin (+3:06), Rokas Baciuska (+4:30), and American driver Austin Jones (+5:33) completing the daily top five. Luppi’s overall lead on Jones heading into the rest day is now up to 6:56, while Michal Goczal, Gerard Farres, and Baciuska round out the top five and remain within an hour of the lead.

20220106DAK0404 A.S.O. G.Soldano DPPI
#403 Goczal Michal (pol), Gospodarczyk Szymon (pol), Cobant-Energylandia Rally Team, Can-Am XRS, T4 FIA SSV, action during the Stage 5 of the Dakar Rally 2022 around Riyadh, on January 6th 2022 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – Photo Gigi Soldano / DPPI

2022 Dakar Rally Stage 6 winners were as follows:

  • Light Prototype: Seth Quintero (USA), 3:27:23
  • SSV: Marek Goczal (POL), 3:39:24

2022 Dakar Rally overall leaders after Stage 6 are as follows:

  • Light Prototype: Chaleco Lopez (CHL), 24:19:17
  • SSV: Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira (BRA), 25:04:01

The Dakar Rally pauses for Saturday’s rest day in Riyadh, before resuming on Sunday with six more days of racing. Coverage of Stage 6 will air on the Olympic Channel tonight at 8PM ET, with extended highlights also streaming on NBC Sports digital platforms.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here