The 2022 Dakar Rally’s seventh stage saw Marcelo Medeiros, Aron Domzala, and Anton Shibalov triumph in their categories.

Marcelo Medeiros started today’s stage in quads with strong pace right off the bat. The Brazilian lunged to the lead at the first waypoint, going 40 seconds quicker than Sebastien Souday.

Souday managed to keep up well with Medeiros over the first three waypoints, but then dropped to the 9th place by kilometer 221. The Frenchman lost almost 40 minutes between the two waypoints after a successful first 120km.

Alexandre Giroud took the 2nd place after Souday tumbled down the order, finding himself 2 minutes off the pace by kilometer 221.

Medeiros retained his lead for the rest of the journey to Al Dawadimi, with Giroud consistently following behind. Medeiros led the stage from start to finish to claim his first stage of the event. Giroud missed out by around 3 minutes.

The top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally stage 7 in the quads category:

Pos.RiderTeamTime/Gap
1Marcelo MedeirosTeam Marcelo Medeiros4:17:18
2Alexandre GiroudYamaha Racing – SMX – Drag’On+3:07
3Pablo CopettiDel Amo Motorsports/Yamaha Rally Team+16:36
4Aleksandr Maksimov Chyr Mari +19:31
5Kamil WisniewskiOrlen Team+25:52

The overall top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally in the quads category:

Pos.RiderTeamTime/Gap
1 Alexandre Giroud Yamaha Racing – SMX – Drag’On29:38:54
2 Pablo Copetti Del Amo Motorsports/Yamaha Rally Team +18:21
3 Aleksandr Maksimov Chyr Mari +52:39
4 Kamil Wisniewski Orlen Team +1:55:18
5Francisco MorenoDrag’On Rally Team+2:13:35

For over 259km of the stage, Seth Quintero held the top spot in the LW class. By the 5th checkpoint of the special, he led Cristina Gutierrez Herrero by 4 minutes.

However, Gutierrez Herrero surged into the lead to break the American’s dominance by kilometer 299. Quintero dropped 2 minutes behind the Spanish driver.

Although, Quintero started to reel Gutierrez Herrero in once again, lowering the gap to a minute at kilometer 338. He then further reduced it to a nail-biting 8 seconds at the final waypoint before the end.

In the end, this close fight for the stage win turned into a lengthy victory margin for Seth Quintero. Cristina Gutierrez Herrero settled for 2nd, over 5 minutes off the pace after leading by a fraction at the final checkpoint.

The top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally stage 7 in the LW category:

Pos.DriverTeamTime/Gap
1Seth QuinteroRed Bull Off-Road Junior Team USA3:45:20
2Cristina Gutierrez HerreroRed Bull Off-Road Team USA+5:11
3Pavel LebedevMSK Rally Team+11:51
4Francisco Lopez ContardoEKS – South Racing+12:47
5Santiago NavarroFN Speed Team+20:03

The overall top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally in the LW category:

Pos.DriverTeamTime/Gap
1 Francisco Lopez Contardo EKS – South Racing 28:17:24
2 Sebastian Eriksson EKS – South Racing +1:24:05
3Christina Gutierrez HerreroRed Bull Off-Road Team USA+2:12:40
4Fernando Alvarez South Racing Can-Am+2:38:19
5 Santiago Navarro FN Speed Team+4:31:52

Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira topped the charts in the SSVs by the 42km mark, pipping Marek Goczal by a miniature 3 seconds. But the Brazilian lost his lead over the next 35km, after which Austin Jones claimed the lead of the race.

Luppi de Oliveira found himself only 12 seconds shy of Jones at the second waypoint. However, he wouldn’t get the chance to snatch back the lead. The stage 5 winner flung down to 31st place, losing over an hour between the second and third waypoint. Austin Jones kept his lead as Marek Goczal trailed just 9 seconds adrift.

But then it was Jones’ turn for misfortune. He lost 14 minutes and therefore the lead, handing it over to Marek Goczal. The Polish driver led by 2 minutes over Gerard Farres Guell.

At kilometer 299, the tables turned even further as Goczal surrendered the lead to the Farres Guell. However, Goczal only had 24 seconds to make up to find the leading position again.

Subsequently, Marek Goczal found himself falling to P3 at the final waypoint before the finish. Aron Domzala squeezed past him, surpassing his time by a mere 7 seconds. But Farres Guell still topped the timing sheets, with just a dash to the finish line remaining.

It was a significantly close finish, with Domzala just edging Marek Goczal by 22 seconds. Farres Guell ended the stage 20 seconds further back in P3, but it was a fierce fight between the SSV frontrunners.

The top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally stage 7 in the SSVs category:

Pos.DriverTeamTime/Gap
1Aron DomzalaCan-Am Factory South Racing4:00:56
2Marek GoczalCobant-Energylandia Rally Team+0:22
3 Gerard Farres Guell Can-Am Factory South Racing +0:42
4Michal Goczal Cobant-Energylandia Rally Team +3:39
5Rokas BaciuskaSouth Racing Can-Am+4:49

The overall top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally in the SSVs category:

Pos.DriverTeamTime/Gap
1Austin Jones Can-Am Factory South Racing 29:28:14
2 Michal Goczal Cobant-Energylandia Rally Team +5:11
3 Gerard Farres Guell Can-Am Factory South Racing +6:33
4 Rokas Baciuska South Racing Can-Am +27:58
5Rodrigo Luppi de OliveiraSouth Racing Can-Am+36:38

Dmitry Sotnikov brought his no. 500 truck to the top by the first checkpoint, heading Eduard Nikolaev by 6 seconds. By the third waypoint, the Russian stretched his leading margin to a minute and 44 seconds.

Later, he found himself tumbling to 7th place, now 5 minutes off Anton Shibalov. Shibalov inherited the lead and displayed a consistent effort that took his no. 501 Kamaz to its first stage victory of the year. Shibalov took the win over a minute ahead of Nikolaev.

The top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally stage 7 in the trucks category:

Pos.DriverTeamTime/Gap
1Anton ShibalovKamaz – Master03:33:17
2Eduard NikolaevKamaz – Master+1:37
3Martin van den BrinkMammoet Rallysport Team de Rooy Iveco+4:25
4Andrey KarginovKamaz – Master+6:39
5Dmitry SotnikovKamaz – Master+6:52

The overall top 5 of the 2022 Dakar Rally in the trucks category:

Pos.DriverTeamTime/Gap
1 Dmitry Sotnikov Kamaz – Master26:05:54
2 Eduard Nikolaev Kamaz -Master+5:14
3 Anton Shibalov Kamaz – Master+31:25
4Ales LopraisInstaforex Loprais Praga+1:07:25
5 Janus van Kasteren Petronas Team de Rooy IVECO+1:36:51

I am a 17-year-old motorsport fan and writer who possesses a strong passion for machines that go fast. I am from Australia but I aspire to be a journalist covering motor racing series and events all over the globe.