After a rest day in Riyadh, the 2022 Dakar Rally resumed on Sunday with 402 kilometers of special stage action taking racers to their next destination in Al Dawadimi. Stage 7, the first of six remaining tests in the event, saw a pair of familiar faces atop the premier class standings, with Sebastien Loeb’s 3:09:32 heading up the car class and Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo’s 3:28:46 best among the motorcycles.
Nasser Al-Attiyah’s second place stage finish meant he remains well in control of the car class, where he holds a nearly 45-minute advantage over Loeb, but the sam couldn’t be said for incoming motorcycle class leader Sam Sunderland. A 28th place stage finish today, more than 25 minutes off of Cornejo’s winning time, opened the door for Adrien Van Beveren to finally command the top spot in the overall rankings. The French rider now holds a 5:12 advantage over Matthias Walkner, with Sunderland sliding to fourth place behind defending winner Kevin Benavides.
The only other class lead to change hands was in the SSV division, where American racer Austin Jones took advantage of a difficult stage for Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira and now holds a 5:11 advantage over Michal Goczal. Seth Quintero won yet another Light Prototype stage, while Chaleco Lopez remains in command of the division, gaining an hour today on his EKS South Racing teammate Sebastian Eriksson.
Dmitry Sotnikov and Alexandre Giroud also retained the truck and quad class leads with top five stage finishes of their own. Giroud remains 18 minutes clear of Pablo Copetti for the top spot in the quad division, while Sotnikov is joined by Kamaz teammates Eduard Nikolaev and today’s stage winner Anton Shibalov on the truck podium with five stages remaining.
2022 Dakar Rally Stage 7 winners were as follows:
- Bikes: Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo (CHL), 3:28:46
- Cars: Sebastien Loeb (FRA), 3:09:32
- Trucks: Anton Shibalov (RUS), 3:33:17
- Quads: Marcelo Medeiros (BRA), 4:17:18
- Light Prototype: Seth Quintero (USA), 3:45:20
- SSV: Aron Domzala (POL), 4:00:56
2022 Dakar Rally overall leaders after Stage 7 are as follows:
- Bikes: Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), 23:45:02
- Cars: Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), 23:52:22
- Trucks: Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS), 26:05:54
- Quads: Alexandre Giroud (FRA), 29:38:54
- Light Prototype: Chaleco Lopez (CHL), 28:17:24
- SSV: Austin Jones (USA), 29:28:14
The Dakar Rally continues on Monday with the Stage 8 route from Al Dawadimi to Wadi Ad Dawasir, featuring nearly 400 kilometers of special stage and a route that starts with endless sand and dunes. Coverage of Stage 7 will air on the Olympic Channel tonight at 8PM ET, with extended highlights also streaming on NBC Sports digital platforms.