American Seth Quintero dominates the Dakar Rally

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Photo: FADEL SENNA / AFP (fake images)

If you’re an American looking for more great racers to support in international competition, then look no further than the Dakar Rally, where Seth Quintero absolutely dominates the lightweight prototype class.

Today, Quintero has just set the record for stage wins in a single rally that was initially set by Pierre Lartigue in 1994 when he claimed victory on Stage 11 in the 2022 event. This is his ninth consecutive stage win in the lightweight prototype and his 11th overall victory. Lartigue only achieved 10 victories.

Not a bad consolation for a driver who showed up with the aim of breaking the record for being the youngest driver to win a Dakar, but was unable to do so.

In fact, it was only one stage away from doing so this year. Quintero and his co-driver Dennis Zenz won both the Prologue and Stage 1 before a broken differential in Stage 2 caused them to lose 16 hours to the leader of the lightweight prototype class. He has been victorious in every stage since then, including Thursday’s 11th stage.

“He could have been driving differently in these last 10 stages, and we may not have gotten any wins,” Quintero said at the Dakar website. “I think it was a blessing in disguise. It took a lot of pressure off us and I really had a lot of fun throughout the Dakar. We are now the sole holder of the record for the most stages won in a single Dakar, which is absolutely mind-blowing. “

At 19, Seth Quintero is young as hell, so if you haven’t heard his name yet, you’re probably not alone. He has been off-road for a long time, taking part in races like the Mint 400 before heading to Dakar, where he was unable to race in a vehicle in 2020 because he was still too young. In 2021, Quintero competed for the first time and reached second place overall before a broken gearbox caused them to lose that position and finish 18th, although he did set a record for being the youngest driver to win a Dakar stage. This year Quintero is proving that this is where he belongs, even if he has picked up other mechanical gremlins along the way as well.

The Americans are not doing that badly at the Dakar this year, generally speaking. Ricky Brabec ranks sixth overall in the bike category, while Austin Jones ranks second in SSV. But Quintero is proving to be a driver to watch closely for years to come thanks to his impressive skill level.

H / ta Jeb. You are right, we have neglected the Dakar this year, and for that, we apologize.

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