* By Darío Coronel, from Saudi Arabia
The Rally Dakar 2022 it completed its third stage, which was a round trip in Al Qaisumah with 255 timed kilometers and 636 connecting kilometers. On this Tuesday the good Argentine performances were repeated and the protagonist of the day was Pablo Copetti, winner in quadricycles and that consolidated his candidate plate since he reached the top in the general classification of the specialty.
Copetti, 46, is a regular entertainer in the specialty and has been racing in the Dakar Rally since 2010: this day reached his sixth set and commands in the general classification. The one born in Córdoba and nationalized American (resides in Miami) fights for the victory in his category with another Argentine and current champion, Manuel Andújar, who today was third behind Frenchman Alexandre Giroud and fourth overall. All of the aforementioned run with Yamaha.
On motorcycles Kevin Benavides (KTM), which defends the crown, was eighth and is in the same position in the general classification where he advanced six places in two days: on Sunday he was 14th, on Monday he was 11th and now 8th. The sum of times in the three days is led by the English Sam Sunderland (Gasgas), who was 17th in stage 3 won by the Portuguese Joaquim Rodríguez (Hero). The partial podium was completed by Toby Prize (KTM) and Mason Klein (KTM).
In cars Carlos Sainz made history by winning the first stage with an electric car like the Audi RS Q e-tron. The Spaniard had already given signs by being second in part A of stage 1 and third in stage 2. As if that were not enough, for the German brand, Stéphane Petehansel was third behind Henk Lategan (Toyota). Nasser Al Attiyah (Toyota) follows first in the general classification, who was eighth today.
The best Argentine in the divisional came back again Lucio Alvarez, also with Toyota, who finished ninth and remained in the top three overall. Orlando Terranova he finished tenth with the prototype of the Bahrain Raid Extreme, the same position he has in the global. Sebastián Halpern (Mini) was 21st, but he is eighth in the accumulated total of the race.
In trucks, the Russians from Kamaz remain unbeatable and Dmitry Sotnikov won the general classification. He was escorted by his partner, Andrey Karginov. The podium was completed by the Dutch Janus Van Kasteren.
Finally, on UTV there was a Polish podium. Marek Goczal won and was seconded by his brother, Michal Goczal. Third was Aron Domzala.
The rest of the Argentines (so far).
Motorcycles: Luciano Benavides (15th in the stage and 24th in the general classification), Diego Gamaliel Llanos (39º / 35º), Diego Noras (69º / 58º), Joaquín Debeljuh Taruselli (65º / 66º), Matías Notti (122º / 120º).
Quadricycles: Francisco Moreno (8th in the stage and 6th overall), Carlos Verza (11th / 10th).
Autos: Juan Cruz Yacopini (24º / 23º).
What is coming. It is Wednesday that the fourth stage will be held that will link Al Qaisumah with Riyadh with the longest timed section of the entire race with 465 kilometers. There are 707 links to it, for which there will be a total of 1,172 kilometers that the competitors will have to travel. Although the greatest demand that the competitors will have will be the great dunes that the route promises.