Despite multiple mechanical issues knocking him out of contention for the overall Light Prototype win on Stage 2, Seth Quintero’s second attempt at the Dakar Rally will go down in the record books anyway after his triumph in Thursday’s Stage 11, a 346-kilometer special stage loop based in Bisha. The American’s 11th stage victory of the year officially broke the record for wins in a single rally, set by 1994 car class winner Pierre Lartigue over 17 stages in that year’s event.
Chaleco Lopez remains the overall class leader by 40:36 over Dakar rookie Sebastian Eriksson, his EKS South Racing teammate, while Quintero’s Red Bull teammate Cristina Gutierrez sits third at more than four hours back. While Lopez’s comfortable margin up front has enabled him to race more conservatively in the closing stages, the difference between his stage times and Quintero’s continues to widen; after a 30:38 separation today, Quintero has completed the stages he’s won nearly two and a half hours faster than Lopez has.
But it wasn’t all good news for the Americans on Thursday, unfortunately, as Austin Jones suffered mechanical setbacks that yielded the overall SSV lead to his Can-Am Factory South Racing teammate Gerard Farres going into the final day of the rally. Jones, who had entered the day with more than 10 minutes in hand, now enters Friday 1:41 out of the top spot, a disappointing development but fortunately nowhere near insurmountable.
Marek Goczal won his fifth stage of the rally on Thursday, with Farres 3:37 behind in second and yesterday’s class winner Rokas Baciuska in third. Six racers enter tomorrow within an hour of the top spot, with Goczal (+17:29), Baciuska (+22:46), Michal Goczal (+29:14), and Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira (+59:49) the top six.
2022 Dakar Rally Stage 11 winners were as follows:
- Light Prototype: Seth Quintero (USA), 3:57:53
- SSV: Marek Goczal (POL), 4:13:12
2022 Dakar Rally overall leaders after Stage 11 are as follows:
- Light Prototype: Chaleco Lopez (CHL), 44:11:34
- SSV: Gerard Farres (ESP), 45:24:07
The Dakar Rally concludes on Friday with a return to Jeddah, and just 164 kilometers of special stage competition separating racers from the finish. Coverage of Stage 11 will air on the Olympic Channel tonight at 8PM ET, with extended highlights also streaming on NBC Sports digital platforms.