Young American superstar Seth Quintero may not get the overall Dakar Rally triumph he so richly deserves in 2022, but his triumph on Stage 11’s Bisha loop stage provided a stellar consolation prize if nothing else. Quintero’s 11th Light Prototype stage victory of the event broke a nearly 30-year record, previously held by Pierre Lartigue, for most stage wins in any given event. Lartigue’s 10 victories came across 17 stages in 1994 as he won the car class for the first time in 13 tries; Quintero’s came in just his second attempt at the grueling event.
Elsewhere, defending motorcycle winner Kevin Benavides and three-time car winner Carlos Sainz took the stage wins, with Benavides rebounding from issues yesterday that knocked him from fifth overall out of the top 100 and Sainz still looking to crack the top 10 overall in his new Audi RS Q e-tron. Nasser Al-Attiyah remains 33 minutes clear of Sebastien Loeb overall in the car class, but the bikes saw a lead change for the fifth day in a row as Sam Sunderland’s second place stage finish, just four seconds behind Benavides, was good enough to snatch the lead back from a faltering Adrien Van Beveren. Sunderland’s advantage is now 6:52 over Pablo Quintanilla with just one day remaining.
The only other stage to see an overall lead change in Bisha was the SSV class, where a lurking Gerard Farres capitalized on differential issues for Austin Jones to assert a narrow 1:41 lead going into the final day. Marek Goczal’s fifth stage victory of the rally, and third in the past four days, allowed him to climb to third overall.
In the truck division, Eduard Nikolaev took another stage win to narrow the overall gap to 8:18 behind Kamaz teammate Dmitry Sotnikov. On the quads, Brazilian racer Marcelo Medeiros scored his second stage triumph in a row and third overall, but Alexandre Giroud remains well in control of the event.
2022 Dakar Rally Stage 11 winners were as follows:
- Bikes: Kevin Benavides (ARG), 3:30:56
- Cars: Carlos Sainz (ESP), 3:29:32
- Trucks: Eduard Nikolaev (RUS), 3:54:45
- Quads: Marcelo Medeiros (BRA), 4:53:29
- 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:
- Bikes: Sam Sunderland (GBR), 37:04:05
- Cars: Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), 36:49:51
- Trucks: Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS), 39:54:53
- Quads: Alexandre Giroud (FRA), 47:26:25
- 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.