Dakar 2022: Sunderland and Al-Attiyah rule the roost

After leaving the shores of the Red Sea on 1 January, the drivers, riders and crews of the 2022 Dakar made it back to Jeddah with 8 000 kilometres under their belts. 104 car crews (46 T1s, 2 T2s, 22 T3s, 34 T4s), 109 bikers, 6 quad riders and 20 truckers were eligible for the final standings of the 44th edition.
In the motorbike race, Sam Sunderland snapped up his second title, following his first in 2017, and took GasGas to the top of the podium, while Nasser Al-Attiyah added a fourth Bedouin trophy to his tally to go with those that he conquered in South America in 2011, 2015 and 2019.
Victory in the lightweight prototype category went to South Racing's Chilean driver, Francisco López, while the Seth Quintero whirlwind took the rally by storm, claiming 12 specials in his OT3-Red Bull at the young age of 19. In the SSV competition, favourite Austin Jones lived up to expectations despite a last-minute scare. In contrast, it was a smooth ride for the Kamaz truckers, starting with Dmitry Sotnikov, who defended his crown after leading the general standings from A to Z.
The duels in the Saudi deserts and on their tracks also awarded the first points towards the 2022 season of the FIA and FIM World Rally-Raid Championships. Next up is the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, scheduled for 5 to 10 March (see dedicated W2RC press release).

Cars: Al-Attiyah king of the desert

Being the big favourite is a coveted position, but not necessarily a comfortable one. Nasser Al-Attiyah has cracked under the pressure several times before, but this year he and his co-driver Mathieu Baumel put in a masterful performance. The Qatari was eager to seize the lead from the get-go and took the two specials (1A and 1B) that made up the opening stage. Meanwhile, the Audis were already on the back foot, first when Sainz made a catastrophic navigation blunder and then, the next day, when Peterhansel lost one of his rear wheels and had to accept an extremely heavy penalty in order to continue his Dakar adventure. Against this backdrop, the fight for top honours soon came down to a duel between Sébastien Loeb and Al-Attiyah, but the Frenchman faltered in stage 3, when he suffered a broken drive shaft, resulting in a 50-minute deficit by the time the rest day came around. Firmly in command, the man who earned the nickname of "Prince of the Desert" in South America became a king by claiming his fourth Dakar title in the Middle East, next door to his home country, to go with his victories from 2011, 2015 and 2019. Loeb can find solace in the stellar performance of his BRX Hunter, but like in 2017, when he came up short in his duel with "Peter", he ended up in second place… his least favourite! Yazeed Al-Rajhi inserted himself in the Franco-Qatari battle several times and proved that he is a force to be reckoned with on home turf, claiming his highest finish so far and climbing on the final podium for the first time (third at 1 h 01′13″).

Behind the top 3 that everyone yearns for, Prodrive can be pleased to have Orlando Terranova's Hunter in fourth place, the best result of his career in a car after fourteen starts. In contrast, the Mini X-raid buggy seems to have been left in the dust by the new generation of T1+ cars, with Jakub Przygoński slipping down two places to sixth. Giniel De Villiers came in fifth to claim his eighteenth top 10 finish. Also in the top 10 was Mathieu Serradori in his Century (ninth). Mattias Ekström's tenth place overall (see Stat of the day) capped Audi's impressive performance over the last fortnight.

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Motorbikes: Sunderland in Wonderland

To say that the motorbike category was the closest-run race of the 44th Dakar would be an understatement. The 3′27″ between Sam Sunderland and Pablo Quintanilla in Jeddah were the slimmest margin at the top of the leader board since 1994, when Orioli finished 1′13″ ahead of Arcarons! The Englishman went back to his winning ways after a drought stretching back to 2017. Sunderland's star had seemed to be on the wane. When he did not withdraw from the race, he had to settle for third the following year. To break this vicious cycle, the Englishman first stayed in the shadow of his flamboyant teammate, Daniel Sanders. However, "Chucky", the man of the first week, was sent home by a stupid crash while exiting the bivouac in Riyadh in the wee hours. Sam already held the overall lead, which he defended for four days without winning any specials. Meanwhile, three other former champions embarked on an impossible mission after flopping in the opening stages: it was 2021 all over again for Price and Brabec, joined by the defending champion, Kevin Benavides, this time round. Only Matthias Walkner, also a previous winner, and Adrien Van Beveren were able to match Sunderland blow for blow. The official GasGas biker delivered the coup de grâce with a win in stage 8. The same old trick once again allowed him to approach the remaining stages with caution and hatch a plan for stage 10. Sunderland and Walkner held back so that they could chase the new leader, Van Beveren, clad in Yamaha blue, in the following special. Pablo Quintanilla also pounced on the opportunity to finish second, matching his 2020 performance.

Young brands such as Sherco and Hero also had their moment in the sun. Ensconced in the top 5 for almost the entire first week, Santolino and his Sherco expected to feature in the fight for glory before the tables turned. Hero and Joaquim Rodrigues bagged their maiden win in stage 3, with a special thought for Paolo Gonçalves. Red once again fluttered in the breeze of the aptly named sea, but it was no longer Honda's. GasGas avenged the insult to KTM and became the sixth constructor to take the Dakar.

In the Rally2 category for non-professional bikers, 20-year-old Mason Klein was a cut above the rest, finishing ahead of Camille Chapelière and picking up a stage podium along the way. The Frenchman, nineteenth overall, came in three places higher than in his debut. Romain Dumontier, precisely in twenty-second place, rounded out the Rally2 podium.

In the Original by Motul category for bikers without assistance, the 2022 podium was almost the same as last year's. Lithuanian Arūnas Gelažninkas retained the title, while the battle-hardened Czech Milan Engel was runner-up and Frenchman Benjamin Melot defended his third place.

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Quads: Giroud in the name of the father

Alexandre Giroud emerged victorious from a classic Dakar war of attrition. Near the start, he watched on as the flashy performances of other riders turned out to be a flash in the pan. Lithuania's Kancius, Russia's Maksimov and even the defending champion, Manuel Andújar, all learned the hard way that haste makes waste. Pablo Copetti, on the other hand, grasped that the Dakar is an endurance race. The Argentinian-American and Giroud locked horns in the second week as Copetti launched assault after assault on the Frenchman's lead. In the end, it was Copetti who bent the knee after a broken engine in stage 10 put paid to his chances. Giroud now had a clear path to Jeddah Corniche, where he wanted to pay tribute to his father, Daniel, who became the first quad rider to finish the Dakar back in 1997. Racing in a league of his own for much of the rally, Giroud Jr. dominated the standings by 2 h 21 over his Drag'On stablemate, the Spaniard Francisco Moreno.

Lightweight prototypes: "Chaleco" cruises to double

By switching to this category after winning the T4 race in 2021, Francisco "Chaleco" López set himself up for a confrontation with the OT3-Red Bull armada, which had already claimed the lion's share of the specials last year without making an impact on the general standings. However, a barrage of mechanicals soon plagued the American team, knocking Cristina Gutiérrez, Guillaume De Mevius and Seth Quintero out of contention and leaving the field clear for South Racing, with their solid Chilean captain at the helm. López reached the rest day with 25 minutes in hand over his young brother in arms, Sebastian Eriksson, and, more importantly, 2 h 23 over the Spaniard. "Chaleco" had no incentive to risk it all chasing stage wins, unlike the vivacious Quintero. No longer in the mix for the title after spending almost an entire night in stage 2, the nigh-unbeatable 19-year-old finally achieved a high degree of consistency at the highest level. With 12 victories in 13 specials, the Quintero Show was a real hit. Dakar historians and data wonks will be comparing his feat to Pierre Lartigue's 11 stage wins in 1994 (counting all car categories) in a lively debate. Here's looking at you, kid!

SSVS: quiet aplomb carries the day for Jones

The proverb "slow and steady wins the race" sums up the SSV race to perfection. The Polish posse won no fewer than nine out of the thirteen specials up for grabs (including 1B). Marek Goczał was the most prolific stage hunter, with six to his name, followed by his brother Michał with two and Aron Domżała with one. Yet not a single one of them will be standing on the final podium. Endurance races like the Dakar require a high level of consistency and learning to walk before you run. The Polish armada ignored this rule at their own peril and paid the price in the shape of subdued performances and mechanical woes. Austin Jones, on the other hand, flew under the radar. The American seemed on the cusp of victory several times but never quite got there, although he did finish on the podium when he needed to turn the tables on opponents such as rookie Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira. The Brazilian topped the overall before running into mechanical trouble, the same fate that would befall Gerard Farrés, Jones's teammate at South Racing, in the last special. Although the Spaniard started the stage in command, an electrical problem cost him just enough time for Jones to take the crown by two minutes. Farrés had to settle for second place ahead of a promising rookie, Rokas Baciuška. In the same vein as Jones, the Lithuanian made little noise before bursting onto the scene with a win in stage 10 and another one in the closing special two days later. His consistency propelled him to the third step of the podium in his very first Dakar start.

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Trucks: Kamaz… again

The Russian truckers have never shied away from their status as favourites. They have racked up eighteen victories with six different drivers since the dawn of the 21st century, only bending the knee to Karel Loprais in 2001, Hans Stacey in 2007 and Gerard de Rooy in 2012 and 2016, and extended their hegemony in Saudi Arabia this year. Each of the four men at the wheels of the blue trucks has claimed at least one stage, leaving nothing for the competition. Reigning champion Dmitry Sotnikov defended his title and led a Kamaz 1-2-3-4. He won the rally with 9′58″ to spare over his teammate and four-time Dakar champion Eduard Nikolaev, who took his eighth podium spot in ten starts as a driver. Kamaz had already locked up the top 4 in 2011. Further back, Janus van Kasteren was the best of the rest in fifth place… over an hour behind the last Kamaz.


Source Dakar/ASO
Eric Vargiolu / DPPI

Dakar 2022: VIDEO - Extended highlights of the day presented by Gaussin - Stage 12

Source: Dakar/ASO
Published on Rally-Raid Network via Dailymotion


Dakar 2022: Mário Patrão in 1st place in the Veterans Dakar

Note: Automatic translation

Portuguese rider climbed the podium in four stages and was 6th in the OBM

Mário Patrão, current National Rally Raid and European Bajas Champion concluded today, with the arrival in Jeddah, and in an exemplary way, his eighth participation in the Dakar Rally, this time, with victory among pilots with 45 years or more, and finally fulfilling the dream long planned, in the class that represents the purest and most extreme side of the race queen of the TT world, the Original Class by Motul in which he averaged the 6th place.

The pilot supported by CRÉDITO AGRÍCOLA who has 27 titles of Portuguese champion in various disciplines and categories and several international gold medals, managed in this edition of the Dakar Rally to climb to the podium of the Original Class by Motul in four stages, three of which consecutive and complete the 14 days of the purest competition occupying a place in the top positions of the class commonly known as 'malle moto', always requiring good management between time, mechanical and performance of the pilot and in which it is not possible to count on any outside assistance from any source.

Mário Patrão, who is also sponsored by LUSÍADAS SAÚDE is also an experienced mechanic and proved to be in good physical shape by overcoming with tenacity and determination the adversities registered in the first stage - where there were some navigation problems - and in the seventh special - where a fall conditioned the pilot's performance. It was in the fifth round that he entered the TOP 10 of the general classification of the Original by Motul and didn't let go until the end.

"I'm super happy! I realized the long-delayed dream of participating in the Original by Motul category. I wanted to push myself to the limit and prove that no matter what injuries/adversities, my persistence, drive, and will are here! It was hard, but rewarding. I honored my sponsors, my country, and my fans. There were months of preparation, abdications, which were only possible because I have a super stable professional structure and family environment. I am the fruit of my sponsors' investment, and I dedicate this medal to them. It's time to go back, because I already miss home a lot. THANK YOU!", says Mário Patrão about his performance in this 44th edition of the Dakar Rally, which was held for the third consecutive year in Saudi Arabia. It was 8,177 kilometers, 4,258 km long, divided in a prologue and twelve stages.

It should be noted that Mário Patrão, supported by BAHCO, was absent in the previous edition of the Dakar Rally due to a fracture in his femur, which he contracted a little more than three weeks before the start of the main competition of the TT. The driver sponsored by SEIA Municipality was absent from competitions for several months, only returning in May, still in time to win the European Bajas Championship, revalidate the National Rally Raid Champion title and also win the Tunisia Desert Challenge.

Source Mario Patrão official press release
Automatic translation from the original Portuguese version, available on

Dakar 2022: Rui Gonçalves ends his second Dakar with a remarkable performance

Note: Automatic translation

The second Dakar in Rui Gonçalves' career proved the natural aptitude of the driver in navigation competitions, with the driver from Vidago concluding the 8.375 km of race, of which 4.258 km were intensely chronometer driven, in a total of 42h00m.

In Rui Gonçalves' second participation in the race in Saudi Arabia, the Portuguese driver managed to get on the podium in the 3rd stage, concluding another stage in the "top ten", showing his driving skills in sandy surfaces and a greater experience in terms of navigation.

Rui Gonçalves: "Yesterday we had a short stage ahead of us and I knew it was important to attack from the start. I managed to be fast throughout the 163km and concluded this last stage with a 12th place.
It was a very positive Dakar as far as my performance is concerned, I learned a lot by riding with fast and experienced pilots and I think I was at my best level in this "new" modality for me, achieving remarkable results in some stages.
I was very satisfied with my evolution, but I am aware that there are always things to improve. Unfortunately, the overall classification was conditioned by some technical problems, but I'm still very happy to have reached the end with no major crashes.
Finally I would like to thank all my Sherco Racing Factory team for the work done over these two weeks as well as all the support given by you guys who are always on my side, family, friends and girlfriend. It was undoubtedly very important for me and crucial to get to the end of this Dakar Rally that sometimes challenged me a lot by putting me in extreme situations that, fortunately, I managed to overcome.
Thank you all, we are always together!"

Source: Rui Gonçalves official press release
Photo Rally Zone
Automatic translation from the original Portuguese version, available on

Dakar 2022: António Maio with fantastic performance at the Dakar

Note: Automatic translation

Yamaha rider finishes 21st overall

António Maio successfully concluded his participation in the 44th Dakar Rally, thus fulfilling his main goal which was to finish this long and difficult off-road marathon for the second time. The Yamaha pilot had an excellent race, having qualified 21st overall in an extremely competitive Dakar, full of excellent pilots, very hard and demanding, and where all the pilots who finished ahead of him are professionals.

"We are in Jeddah where the podium of Dakar 2022 is. The special went well, but it was very dangerous. So I chose not to risk it because I had more to lose than to gain. We managed to fulfill our goal, which was to finish the race, and now we're going to get the podium we deserve. The bike is impeccable and it was an excellent race. I thank all the sponsors who made this dream possible. I also want to leave a big hug to my family and friends who helped me so much to conquer this goal", said António Maio in Jeddah at the end of the 12th stage, between Bisha and Jeddah, where the Yamaha driver reached the 19th place in the 163 km long section of the last day of the Dakar Rally 2002.

The Portuguese rider now returns to Portugal to prepare his remaining 2022 sports season, which starts in February, in Portugal with Baja TT Montes Alentejanos.

Source Official press release
Automatic translation from the original Portuguese version, available on

Dakar 2022: Team de Rooy with "Four in a row" to the podium

With four drivers in the top ten, Team De Rooy Iveco has very successfully closed the book on the Dakar Rally 2022.

A fifth place for Janus van Kasteren, the best behind four unapproachable Kamaz drivers. A sixth place for Martin van den Brink, who achieved his best result ever. An eighth place for Vick Versteijnen, who fulfilled his role as a substitute excellently. And last but not least a tenth place for Mitchel van den Brink. A fast assistant in the top ten, that can be called sensational.

After the twelfth and final stage, there were therefore only positive sounds from Team De Rooy Iveco's camp. The last special on the way to Jeddah didn't cause many shifts in the standings. Vick Versteijnen was one of the few who had to concede a place in the last kilometers. Seventh place was in the hands of Martin Macik. The Czech drove 'the test of his life' and took seventh place with a difference of 23 seconds from Vick Versteijnen, Teun van Dal and Randy Smits. "Yes, that's how it can go in the Dakar Rally," said a realistic Versteijnen. "No, I'm certainly not disappointed."
On the final day, Vick did not spare the Iveco Powerstar. “We really gave everything. It was a quick test. On the sandy paths, you had to watch out for the boulders along the route. We just drove hard. Also on the narrow parts with trees. We also shattered the windshield. Yes, we gave it our all and are just 23 seconds short of Macik. Nevertheless, we are very satisfied. We had definitely signed up for this beforehand. I started untrained and unprepared. Had never driven the new truck. Also for Randy it was the first time in the truck competition. Like Teun, he did a great job. It was alright in the cabin. I look back with satisfaction. We had a cool rally with a good team, De Rooy," said Vick, who finished the rally in sixth place and was therefore the fastest Dutchman.

Martin van den Brink seemed to be the fastest man of Team De Rooy. “It went well. We still gave good gas.” However, after a time penalty of two minutes, the formation in the orange colors saw the sixth place change into a ninth ranking. "We got a two-minute penalty for speeding. Yes, I drove too fast in an area where that is not allowed.” The experienced driver from Harskamp showed his speed and motivation in the 164 kilometer test. "It was nice to finish the rally as good as possible."

Martin, Peter Willemsen and Bernard der Kinderen are happy to say goodbye to the event in Saudi Arabia. "I am happy with the results of the day and with what we have learned about the truck. Sixth place is my best place in the standings. So yes, I am very satisfied," said Martin, who has completed his fourteenth Dakar Rally. "In addition, I am of course very proud of the achievements of Mitchel, Richard and Bert," says the enthusiastic 'Dakarist' about the performance of his son, driving the fast assistance truck.

Mitchel van den Brink put the icing on our cake today. A tenth place, in both the last special and in the general classification resulted in sincere congratulations to the 20-year-old Harskamper. "It went pretty tough today. We pushed to the very limit and hit a few twigs and bushes here and there, so the truck did not arrive at the finish unscathed. We have broken a windscreen and made some dents here and there" said a smiling Mitchel, who made an excellent performance as a quick assistant in Petronas Team De Rooy Iveco.

The tenth position in the final standings is beyond all expectations and gives hope for the sporting future. "We are very happy with a tenth position overall. Everyone from team de Rooy was waiting for us at the finish. That was a really nice reception with many celebrations. We are now going to wash the truck and go to the podium with a satisfied feeling. I look back on this edition with fond memories. After a few minor problems in the first week, the following week went great, we adapted very well to the ever changing situations. The collaboration with Richard Mouw and Bert van Donkelaar was perfect. I look forward to working with them in the future some more.”

Janus van Kasteren, Marcel Snijders and Darek Rodewald cherished their fifth place in the standings today, right behind defending champion Sotnikov and his loyal lieutenants Nikolaev, Shibalov and Karginov. Without bad luck in the Russian camp, Petronas Team de Rooy Iveco was unable to make any progress in overtaking them. The 35-year-old driver from Veldhoven didn't have much to gain and played an important role in today's team tactics. Van Kasteren started just ahead of teammate Vick Versteijnen and cleared the way to give Vick free space and to make it less affected by the dust. "After the start, we quickly moved to the side. We left Vick ahead of us and waited for the dust to settle a bit, but Loprais arrived by then too and created a lot of dust. Then we brought the truck home in one piece and completed this stage calmly. All three of us are really happy with fifth place. As mentioned earlier; there's nothing more to it at the moment. We are happy as can be"

However, the driven Van Kasteren does not simply resign himself to an ol on the second plan. The future is already calling for attention in his head. "We are going to celebrate this result first, but I am already thinking about next year. I'm going to try to drive a little more and we know what needs to be done to improve the trucks," said Janus, indicating that the Dakar is not yet finished with the "Big Boss from Brabant."

The men of Team De Rooy are on the podium in Jeddah during this afternoon to receive their honorable medals. The rally team will return to the Netherlands from Saudi Arabia tomorrow.


Source Team de Rooy

Dakar 2022: Sotnikov won in the Dakar 2022 and KAMAZ has taken first four positions

The 164 kilometers sprint on the final day of the Dakar could hardly affect the situation of the contestants, who had created a solid temporary reserve for 11 stages of the rally marathon. And yet, it was impossible to relax on the route Bisha - Jeddah: a long stop carried the risk of losing the earned positions in the general classification, and given the fierce rivalry in a number of categories, names of the winners could not be named until the very finish line.

The track on Friday resembled a mountain serpentine. In the absence of dunes, the rally caravan winded through small canyons, following in tight convoy on technical and winding gravel roads with difficult navigation. A lot depended on the navigator’s work today and any mistake could be fatal. The dust from the cars in front created additional difficulty for the crews - in the limited visibility zone, they had to navigate in unfamiliar terrain covered with sharp stones and constantly changing direction. Abundance of hidden paths added psychological tension among the leaders.

However, it went without unpleasant surprises. At the finish line, the best result of the day was shown by the crew consisting of driver Dmitry Sotnikov, navigator Ruslan Akhmadeev and mechanic Ilgiz Akhmetzyanov. He became the winner of the Dakar rally marathon for the second time in his career.

Eduard Nikolaev took the second place in the truck standings, and Anton Shibalov took the third position. The crew of Andrey Karginov completed the Dakar 2022 fourth. The last time when the team from Naberezhnye Chelny took the first four places was in 2011. For KAMAZ-master the title became the 19th in history

Vladimir Chagin, the head of KAMAZ-master team: “I am happy that KAMAZ-master team managed to prove superiority of Russian vehicles on the roads. The first four places in the truck standings are ours. We are very pleased that two brand new KAMAZ trucks of the K5 family proved themselves in this extreme competition and reliably brought victory to the finish line of the Dakar 2022 in Jeddah.”

Dmitry Sotnikov, driver of crew No 500: “The race was challenging. It was very different from the previous two in Saudi Arabia. The Dakar 2022 began without a warming-up with the hardest special stages in the sand. The whole team dominated but the rivalry for the victory went every day, and until the last kilometer it was impossible to relax. Even 500 meters before the finish line, we were worried, because it was important to get to the end. We have a new truck, the whole team has worked hard on creation of this truck for the past year. We are grateful to everyone who supported us, this victory is our common result. Russia is the champion!”

Eduard Nikolaev, driver of crew No 505: “Today we drove great along the track. It seems to me that it was more psychologically difficult for Dima Sotnikov, but easier because Andrey Karginov and I were moving in front of him. I know that on the last day you feel restraint, you worry that you can lose time. I had to catch up with Dima, and it was easier for me. I was driving and enjoying the stage. Today I started first, I had to clear the way for the rest - the tracks were narrow, there were a lot of trees and branches, and I beat the truck a little. After missing the Dakar last year, our crew became the second, so we could not catch up. However, our team has gold, silver and bronze - this is the main thing. But there is only one champion, so there is something to strive for next year.”

Anton Shibalov, driver of crew No 501: “For the first time in the last two years, the final special stage went smoothly for us. Everything was fine, the only thing was a lot of branches that knocked all the rubber bands and due to which the doors began to open. I had to stop, quickly tie them. I am very glad that the race ended like this - we are at the finish line in prizes. For many participants, just to finish is already a victory, and our team showed the maximum result, taking the first four places.”

Andrey Karginov, driver of crew No 509: “Dakar turned out difficult and unusual. That's why it is the Dakar, because there are no identical and simple races here. The organizers always come up with some kind of spice. This time it was easier for participants in one - there was no marathon stage. Otherwise, many would have had a different impression of the Dakar. Yesterday's stage, the day before the end of the race, was very impressive. They say here that it's such a joy to just reach the finish line, and if you are at the top of the standings, then the feeling is indescribable. It is great that such race exists. And KAMAZ-master tries every year to maintain a high bar. Salute to the fans, we are thankful for your support. We read your comments, they give strength every day.”

For more than 4200 combat kilometers, intense rivalry for high places in the truck classification was carried out between the crews of KAMAZ, IVECO, PRAGA, TATRA and RENAULT. In the evening, on the shores of the Red Sea in Jeddah the racers will have a ceremonial podium and the awarding of winners and finishers. The beginning of the Golden Bedouin awarding ceremony is scheduled for 19:45 Moscow time.

Source Kamaz Master

Dakar 2022: Macik earned another podium with the second fastest time

The driver Martin Macik, navigator Frantisek Tomasek, and onboard mechanic David Svanda in Charles, a truck built in Sedlcany, won a great 2nd position in the last stage of the 2022 Dakar Rally. After a thrilling final ride, the Big Shock! Racing finished the rally in 7th place. They managed to earn two podiums during this year’s legendary Dakar. But the end of Dakar does not mean the end of racing for their yellow truck. They will continue in March in Abu Dhabi, where the Big Shock! Racing team will be collecting more points in the World Cup.

We’re at the finish line, and we’re the second fastest!

The Big Shock! Racing crew took off into the last stage from 4th position and 8th place in the overall rankings (to which they moved to after a 4-minute penalty for speeding in the limited-speed zone). Thanks to his experience from ten Dakar Rallies, Martin Macik knew it is possible to lose more than gain in the last stage. However, they still set a fast pace in the last stage and drove with maximum commitment, but also with common sense. And the result was the best position this year – a wonderful 2nd place.

“We are at the finish of the Dakar, and we have second place in the last stage. And the second podium this year. It’s been a tough last 160 kilometres through broken riverbeds. The whole Dakar this year has been tough. But we made it through, and we’re safe at the finish. I would like to thank the guys in the crew, and all the fans who have stood by us through thick and thin. A big thanks goes also to our families, to all the people on the team, to the mechanics for how hard they worked and what a great job they did, to my dad, to Martin Pabisek, to Martin Soltys’ crew, to our friends. And, also, to all our great sponsors and partners, whom we appreciate very much,” Martin Macik said.

Obsessed with Dakar

What is both beautiful and scary at the same time about the Dakar is that one never knows what will happen in the next minute. That is why so many fans follow the rally. It is also the reason why the drivers keep coming back despite the hardships they experienced and to outdo their rivals and themselves. That is the Dakar Rally. That is why the Big Shock! Racing team sees it from a long-term perspective, already planning the next race. “We went all out, and it was worth it. Next time, we are going to do it again. We know what to work on. We are already planning for the next year, and we want to build new trucks within MM Technology. Plus, the supply of stories for the ‘Obsessed with Dakar’ is massive now, I don’t think we’ll have time to tell the fans everything,” Martin Macik laughed.

The 2022 Dakar is over, but the ride continues

It is also good news that the Italtrans Racing and Project 2030’s trucks, built by Martin Macik, Sr.’s team in Sedlcany, successfully crossed the finish line of this year’s Dakar. Unfortunately, after two unfinished stages and some injuries, the driver Martin Soltys, navigator Roman Krejci, and mechanic Jakub Jirinec could not experience the feeling at the finish this year. But, their crew also did a good job on the track and fought fiercely in the first half of the rally. For the Big Shock! Racing, this year’s Dakar was also the start of the 2022 World Rally-Raid Championship, which continues in March with the race in Abu Dhabi. The team manager, Martin Pabiska, has already arranged for some of the equipment to be sent directly to Dubai. “We believe that thanks to the year-long series of races, we will be able to fine-tune our shape for the next Dakar,” Martin Macik concluded.

Big Shock! Racing team’s news, highlights and videos also on:

Source Big Shock Racing Team

Dakar 2022: Chequered flag falls for Riwald Dakar Team in Dakar 2022

After almost two weeks of toil, today the last, short stage in the Dakar Rally 2022 was on the program. The Riwald Dakar Team Renault C460 rally truck with start number 518 with Pascal de Baar, Jan van der Vaet and Stefan Slootjes in the cab thus started the final stage.

The test was short and simple, according to Pascal de Baar: “There were fast paths like we often had in recent days, but navigation was still important, even today.” The team brought the truck flawless over the finish line in eleventh place in today's standings, just outside the top ten."

Earlier in the rally Pascal managed to finish in the top ten with three 10th places. Gert Huzink was also well on his way with even two fifth and two sixth place in the day classification. Unfortunately, it was over for him after a heavy crash, but Pascal de Baar also lost a lot of time after a crash. However, the consequences were not that great, allowing him to continue the rally to save the team's honour. One of the consequences of the damage was that Pascal de Baar fell back in the general classification to 22nd place with 8 hours behind. We can now write a book about the adventures of Pascal de Baar and his crew, but the fact is that he eventually finished 14th in the general classification and 9th Dutch truck. A great achievement, especially since Pascal had no help of his teammate in the form of the team of Gert Huzink, Rob Buursen and Martin Roesink during the last days of the rally.

Pascal de Baar about the last stage: “The last few days I have mainly tried to reach the finish line as a stable driver for the team, but at the highest possible position. Today it was a bit of 'pooping without pressing' so to speak, although we still made a cosmetic mistake. We hit a rampart with the right front wheel, so hard, that for a moment I thought the wheel was off. Apparently, a Renault can manage that because there turned out to be nothing wrong!” Finally, the truck with start number 518 drove smoothly to the finish for the podium ceremony where the men were awarded the medals. After that there will probably still be a modest party in the finish place Jeddah."

For more information: see

Source: Riwald Dakar Team.

Dakar 2022: Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team take podium and stage win record at 2022 Dakar Rally

Gutiérrez/Calazet give team their first ever Dakar Rally podium
Quintero/Zenz set new record for stage wins at a single Dakar (12)
Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team set the fastest T3 time on all 13 days of racing

The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team got the attention of everyone in the bivouac at the 2022 Dakar Rally. Among the team’s historical achievements during the 4,000km (2,485 mile) rally was Seth Quintero (USA) driving to 12 stage victories.

19-year-old Quintero smashed the previous record of stage wins at a single Dakar which had stood since 1994. The teenager and co-driver Dennis Zenz (GER) set the fastest time on every day at the Dakar except one. The wild ride in their OT3 by Overdrive was non-stop from starting gun to finish line.

“I already had 11 wins so I may as well try and make it 12 on the final stage. Then we got pretty lost in the first 100km and we ended up losing about five minutes. I decided then and there that this wasn’t how it was going to end. So we pinned it all the way to the finish and it looks like we’ve got our 12th win of the rally.” – Seth Quintero

Quintero/Zenz missed out on the overall rankings due to suffering time losses on Stage 2, the only stage of the rally they didn’t win. However, their haul of stage wins has given them plenty of points in the inaugural World Rally-Raid Championship.

Also racking up points for the World Rally-Raid Championship in Saudi Arabia has been Cristina Gutiérrez (ESP). The winner of last year’s Andalucia Rally and Rally Kazakhstan fought back from a number of difficult days to land her OT3 on the final podium.

Gutiérrez and co-driver François Calazet (FRA) kept cool in the desert to give the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team their first ever Top 3 finish at the Dakar. Their latest achievement comes off the back of their FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies title in 2021.

“The stages tested everything; my driving, François’s navigation and the strength of our car. We fought since the first kilometre for the best result possible and we’re so happy to get on the podium.” – Cristina Gutiérrez

Guillaume De Mevius (BEL) experienced his first ever Dakar and helped himself to stage win on Stage 2. A few days later a bent roll cage forced him and co-driver Kellon Walch (USA) to retire prematurely from the rally due to FIA safety regulations.

The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team were also represented by Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) who had stepped in for Mitch Guthrie Jr. (USA) at the last minute. The adventure ended for Mikkelsen and co-driver Ola Fløene (NOR) on Stage 3.

With an overall podium result and a stage win record in the bag, the squad will have more success in their sights as they target the inaugural World Rally-Raid Championship. The five-stop off-road series takes on some of planet’s toughest terrain and now Gutiérrez and Quintero are among the early pace setters.

The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team is a program that aims to give the most talented and ambitious young drivers a chance to test themselves at the most challenging races on the planet. The program give its young guns the stage to shine and the opportunity to develop a career path towards competing in the T1 car class.

Seth Quintero: “Today was another roller coaster. At the start of the stage I decided to go for it. I already had 11 wins so I may as well try and make it 12 on the final stage. Then we got pretty lost in the first 100km and we ended up losing about five minutes. I decided then and there that this wasn’t how it was going to end. So we pinned it all the way to the finish and it looks like we’ve got our 12th win of the rally. Obviously it’s amazing, but I’m also a little bummed out because we’re not in the overall even though we won just about every single stage. It’s been quite the ride.”

Cristina Gutiérrez: “This was a very intense rally for us. In the beginning we needed to find solutions to some mechanical issues. It was a real test of mentality to keep fighting back after some tough days in the desert. Then the level of difficulty of the stages increased after the Rest Day. The stages tested everything; my driving, François’s navigation and the strength of our car. We did our best to stay consistent because this is the best way to get results at the Dakar. We fought since the first kilometre for the best result possible and we’re so happy to get on the podium.”

1. S. QUINTERO (USA)/D. ZENZ (GER) OT3 1:48:46


Source Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team
Photo: Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

Dakar 2022: Casale in Tatra Phoenix takes his first podium in Saudi Arabia!

When the ending is good, everything else is good too. While just a week ago, there were still doubts surrounding Ignacio Casale and his crew, whether they can continue in the 2022 Dakar Rally, just seven days later, the Chilean finished the Dakar Rally with a stage podium behind the wheel of a Tatra Phoenix special. Josef Macháček crossed the finish line as 11th fastest, despite his technical troubles yesterday.

The final stage led from Bisha to Jeddah (676 km / 163 km) and while it was rather short, it was just as challenging. Those who had survived until now, which itself could be considered as victory, had to tackle one last difficult stage. While it did not feature dunes, there was still plenty of sand.

That is Dakar

Josef Macháček lost his hopes in the penultimate stage, just like many others, as he had lost several hours. But he enjoyed the final stage. “It was difficult, with plenty of stones, vegetation, and I had to be very precise. But the tyres had survived and the belt, surprisingly, too.” And the former champion also thanked his mechanics. “I feel sorry for them, the Can-Am was always perfectly ready. Pavel was great too and hats off to the team. We came here to fight for the TOP 5, but many others did as well. It shows that at Dakar everything can change upside down in a single stage. I’m not happy with the result, but I’ve made it to the end. However, like I always say, that is Dakar.”

His navigator Pavel Vyoral also shared his disappointment, even though he was glad to make it to the end. “An unbelievable race, I have to thank everyone, it was great. I’m destroyed, especially after yesterday, which was challenging physically and mentally.”

Big farewell

After finishing 3rd in the last stage, Ignacio Casale called Alvaro Leon the best navigator. “A beautiful stage, where we did not have a single collision, or nothing did break. It was my best result yet in the Trucks category. I’m glad to be part of the best team I’ve ever raced for. As for Tatra, I’ve worked with an exceptional vehicle, the progress from last year is unbelievable,” added the three-time champion.

“Big thanks to Ignacio. The reason we’ve been just a minute behind the winner today, that goes to him. I’ve been carefully checking the navigation all the time, and I know that the organisers had prepared something for us for the big finale,” said navigator Alvaro Leon.

And after the final stage, also the mechanic Tomáš Šikola felt a huge relief. “The display was showing all colours throughout the stage, especially red, so I was just praying to make it to the end. We were driving on dry sand, and Ignacio kept asking about water and oil temperatures. I had been asking the Tatra to survive, and luckily, it listened to us. Today’s 3rd place is a treat,” he added and described Ignacio and Alvaro as his pals.

Source Buggyra

Dakar 2022: Luís Portela Morais 7th SSV in Dakar 2022

Note: Automatic translation

Luís Portela Morais/David Megre duo with a fantastic performance

Luís Portela Morais and David Megre met their great goal of reaching the end of the 44th edition of the Dakar Rally. The long off-road marathon ended today in Jeddah after the 12th stage, whose selective sector was composed of a 163km long section. The BP Ultimate SSV Team celebrated the seventh place in the general SSV classification, which they reached in the ninth stage of the Dakar, a position which reflects the excellent performance of the Portuguese who saw their progress evolve from day to day which culminated in the conquest of 5th place in the 11th stage, considered the most difficult of the whole race.

Despite the difficulties experienced, inherent to a competition like the Dakar Rally, Luís Portela Morais concluded this competition for the first time in his career as a driver, fulfilling his dream of finishing the hardest and most difficult cross-country race in the world, in his debut year in the SSV category. With this result, the duo formed by Luís Portela Morais and David Megre stands out for being the best Portuguese team in this Dakar Rally.

"The Dakar is over and our main goal was achieved. These were very intense weeks where we were always learning. We are very happy and to further increase our satisfaction we achieved an excellent result. It's very positive, no doubt, because to be seventh in the Dakar makes us the best Portuguese duo ever in SSVs, which is a source of pride for us. We will think if it is possible to come back next year, but for now we are going to enjoy this moment", revealed Luís Portela Morais who finished the last special of the Dakar 2022 Rally in the 24th position.

Source official press release
Automatic translation from the original Press release, avaialable on

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