It seems clear that the 2022 Dakar Rally will remain an instance of what might have been for top American racer and Red Bull athlete Seth Quintero. Yet again, the #303 Light Prototype was atop the daily rankings after today’s first of two Riyadh loop stages, with Quintero’s time of 4:21:10 enough for his fourth stage triumph. Quintero and the rest of the Light Prototype and SSV divisions took on one loop with the cars and trucks, and will race tomorrow on the loop that motorcycles and quads faced earlier today.
Overall leader Chaleco Lopez and overall second place runner Sebastian Eriksson completed the daily podium once again, finishing 8:46 and 10:03 behind Quintero, respectively. Lopez remains in the lead of the event with a 22:16 advantage over his EKS South Racing teammate, while third place Philippe Pinchedez is more than two hours off the top spot. The fight for third remains closer, however, with Fernando Alvarez 14 minutes in arrears of Pinchedez in fourth and 2021 stage winner Cristina Gutierrez in fifth thanks in part to a fourth place stage finish today.
The SSV class battle, however, remains one of the closest and most intriguing of the rally. Brazilian driver Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira’s second straight stage triumph has enabled him to surpass American Austin Jones for the overall class lead. Luppi’s time of 4:33:12 put him more than eight minutes ahead of Jones on the day, and now gives him a 4:27 advantage in the overall standings.
Marek Goczal (+2:33) and Sergei Kariakin (+4:10) completed the day’s SSV podium, and sit sixth and eighth in the overall standings, respectively. Behind Jones, three other racers remain within an hour of the class lead: Michal Goczal (+22:25), Gerard Farres (+23:28), and Rokas Baciuska (+45:00). That trio finished seventh, sixth, and fifth on today’s stage.
2022 Dakar Rally Stage 5 winners were as follows:
- Light Prototype: Seth Quintero (USA), 4:21:10
- SSV: Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira (BRA), 4:33:12
2022 Dakar Rally overall leaders after Stage 5 are as follows:
- Light Prototype: Chaleco Lopez (CHL), 20:38:29
- SSV: Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira (BRA), 21:21:33
The Dakar Rally continues tomorrow with Stage 6, where the loops will flip, and racers will take on the opposite course of the one they did today. Coverage of Stage 5 will air on the Olympic Channel tonight at 8PM ET, with extended highlights also streaming on NBC Sports digital platforms.