Carlos Sainz delivered a dramatic late-stage drive to claim a narrow victory on the third day of the Dakar Rally.
Pushing his electric Audi, which is powered by three MGUs, the three-time champion trailed Henk Lategan for the majority of the stage, which extended 255 kilometers / 158.45 miles. Sainz stalked the South African until finally moving into the lead by the eighth checkpoint and crossing the finish line by just 38 seconds to take his 40th career stage win.
Team Audi Sport showcased its strength in the stage, with Stephane Peterhansel and Mattias Ekstrom also finishing third and fifth, respectively.
Nasser Al-Attiyah managed to extend his overall lead on the field despite finishing eighth. His Stage 3 result trailed Sainz by only 5m10s, however, chief rival and Stage 2 winner Sebastien Loeb endured technical issues and multiple punctures en route to finishing the third day a lowly 38th. As a result, Al-Attiyah has a 37m40s advantage over Loeb, and is 42m06s clear of Lucio Alvarez.
“It was a really bad day for us,” Loeb said. “We broke the transmission at the beginning of the stage so we had to do the all the stage with two-wheel drive.”
American Seth Quintero rebounded from a rough second day outing on Monday to take a Stage 3 win in the lightweight prototypes, his second stage win of this year’s endurance classic. Despite the pair of wins, Monday’s mechanical setbacks still have the 19-year-old mired back in 35th overall, 16h46m04s behind, with 10 hours accrued via time penalties.
Francisco Lopez Contardo still holds the overall lead in lightweight prototypes by 9m09s over Sebastian Eriksson.
Stage 3 – ⚙️ LW Prototype
🥇 Seth Quintero
🥈 Chaleco Lopez
🥉 Sebastian Eriksson
— DAKAR RALLY (@dakar) January 4, 2022
Austin Jones is currently the best running American, holding 5m23s overall lead in SSV ahead of Brazil’s Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira.
Joaqim Rodrigues propelled to stage win win in bikes, beating out Toby Price by 1m03s.
Mason Klein led the way for the United States with a third-place result, trailing the runner-up spot by 11s. Klein was joined in the top 10 by several countrymen, with Skyler Howes behind in fourth, while Andrew Short and 2020 Dakar winner Ricky Brabac grabbed sixth and seventh, respectively.
Sam Sunderland holds the overall lead in bikes by a slim 4s over Adrien Van Beveren. Matthias Walkner sits third, 1m30s behind, with Howes trailing the top mark in fourth by 3m55s.
2022 Dakar Rally Standings after Stage 3
CAR TOP 5
- N. AL-ATTIYAH (QAT) TOYOTA 09:31:22
- S. LOEB (FRA) BRX +37:40
- L. ALVAREZ (ARG) TOYOTA +40:53
- G. DE VILLIERS (ZAF) TOYOTA +42:06
- Y. AL RAJHI (SAU) TOYOTA +47:29
BIKE TOP 5
- S. SUNDERLAND (GBR) GAS GAS 11:13:40
- A. VAN BEVEREN (FRA) YAMAHA +00:04
3. M. WALKNER (AUT) KTM +01:30
4. S. HOWES (USA) HUSQVARNA +03:55
- D. SANDERS (AUS) GAS GAS +08:54
TRUCK TOP 5
- D. SOTNIKOV (RUS) KAMAZ 10:42:32
- E. NIKOLAEV (RUS) KAMAZ +11:45
- A. KARGINOV (RUS) KAMAZ +19:44
- A. SHIBALOV (RUS) KAMAZ +27:05
- A. LOPRAIS (CZE) PRAGA +47:08
LIGHTWEIGHT PROTOTYPE (T3) TOP 5
- F. LOPEZ CONTARDO (CHL) CAN-AM 11:27:54
- S. ERIKSSON (SWE) CAN-AM +09:09
- P. LEBEDEV (RUS) CAN-AM +27:05
- P. PINCHEDEZ (FRA) PINCH +1:19:00
- F. ALVAREZ (ESP) CAN-AM +1:3319