Seth Quintero (USA) for Red Bull off-road Junior Team USA after the stage 9 of Rally Dakar 2022 from Wadi Dawasir to Wadi Dawasir,Saudi Arabia on January 11, 2022 // SI202201110656 // Usage for editorial use only //
Seth Quintero for Red Bull off-road Junior Team USA after the stage nine of Rally Dakar 2022 from Wadi Dawasir to Wadi Dawasir, Saudi Arabia on Jan. 11.

Quintero Makes History, Team Audi Wins Again

WADI DAWASIR, Saudi Arabia – American teenager Seth Quintero made Dakar Rally history as he equalled Pierre Lartigue’s record for stage wins in a single Dakar Rally after claiming his 10th T3 stage win during stage 10 of the event.

The 19-year-old has two stages remaining to extend the record.

“It’s been a wild journey,” Quintero said. “From the lowest lows to the highest highs, our Dakar has had it all. That’s now win number 10 and my mind is blow. I’m pretty emotional right now and out of words.”

Quintero was followed in by his teammate Cristina Gutiérrez, who brought her OT3 to second on the stage. The overall T3 race is still being led by Chaleco Lopez, who’s led since the conclusion of stage two.

In the cars, Stéphane Peterhansel grabbed his first stage win of the rally to make it a stage win for all three Audi Sport drivers at the team’s Dakar debut.

‘Monsieur Dakar’ has placed his Audi RS Q e-tron in the top 10 in each stage since Satruday’s rest day, as a positive second week continues for the winner of 82 Dakar specials. Peterhansel was followed by Audi teammate Carlos Sainz, who finished as the day’s runner-up.

“We haven’t had any big mechanicals since the start of the second week, so we’re making good progress and having fun driving the car,” Peterhansel said. “I’m not necessarily a stage hunter, but each Audi driver has now won a stage, and that’s fantastic.”

Race leader Nasser Al-Attiyah was hit by a five-minute penalty for not putting his seatbelt back on quickly enough after fixing a puncture on stage eight, but the Toyota Gazoo Racing driver still has an advantage of over 30 minutes at the front of the race.

“We only lost one minute from Seb today and tomorrow we have a good position on the road,” Al-Attiyah said. “Today we had no punctures or any issues with the car. Mathieu’s navigation was good.”

Chasing Al-Attiyah down is nine-time WRC winner Sébastien Loeb. The Frenchman has been in attack mode for over a week, but the gap to his Qatari rival still stands at 32 minutes, 40 seconds and unfortunately for Loeb, time is running dry.

“We can’t try any more than we are already doing to catch Nasser,” Loeb said. “The gap is big, but we’ll do everything we can in these last two days to get as close as we can.”

Matthias Walkner remains the best shot for KTM to win the Dakar for the first time since 2019 following the withdrawal of 2021 champion Kevin Benavides after a mechanical issue brought his bike to a stop 133km into the 374km timed special stage.

“This rally is always a little bit up and down,” Walkner said. “This morning the guys in the front got lost, so I could catch up some time. Then at the end of the stage, when the sun was so high, I lost some time finding the way.”

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