In 2021, at the ripe old age of 18, Seth Quintero set a new record for the youngest stage winner in Dakar history. At the 2022 Dakar Rally, Seth set a new record for the most stage wins in a single running of the event, claiming 12 stage victories out of 13 total. The Dakar Rally is a brutal 15-day competition stretching more than 5,000 miles. In 2023, with two stage wins and ten top-five stage finishes, Seth still managed a podium finish, despite losing a wheel and running out of fuel during one of the stages.
Seth, who turns 21 years old this year, already has an impressive resume at Dakar and has multiple championships racing a UTV in BITD, WORCS, and UTV Championships. He is also the youngest driver to win the Mint 400.
Seth Quintero Red Bull Athlete Profile:
Born in 2002, Seth Quintero grew up in San Marcos, California, where his family spent their recreational time off-roading in the desert. He first rode a quad bike at the age of just four years old.
Quintero, with his family as his team, started racing UTVs at the age of 10 in 2012, with the plan being to take things slowly, but, as he admits: “We’re super-competitive, and I wanted to do more and more. Things escalated pretty quickly.”
In 2014, Quintero emerged to clinch the youth class of the UTV World Championship. “All of a sudden here’s this 11-year-old who won the biggest race of the year,” he recalls. “That’s when Red Bull noticed me.”
A year later in 2015, Quintero was the UTV World Champion and the WORCS champion in the 170 (youth) class before moving up to the Production level. By 2018, he was racing in the Best in the Desert series. Quintero’s first race was the MINT 400 and the 15-year-old powered through the 400 miles [640km], finishing second. He also was the runner-up at the Pro UTV level at Vegas to Reno.
In 2019, as a 16-year-old, Quintero produced a near-perfect campaign, winning the Best in the Desert series championship for the Pro class by winning five of six events. And in so doing, he rewrote the record books, by becoming the youngest-ever driver to win the MINT 400, Vegas-to-Reno, UTV World Championship, the Parker 250, and the Silver State 300 in the UTV Pro NA class.
In 2020, at the age of just 17, Quintero got his first taste of the Dakar in Saudi Arabia and the current plan is to drive as often as possible for the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team in international races, intermixed with the Best in the Desert Series domestically.
“Traveling the world to race with two of my best friends and experience the different cultures is something I never thought I’d be doing,” says Quintero. “I want to be in the moment and try to appreciate and understand what’s going on around me. I’m so young that I’m just excited to learn time and time again.”
In 2021, he became the youngest-ever stage winner at the Dakar and the next year the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team driver wants to achieve even more. “We came out swinging and we proved our point that we’re here to stay. The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team is not a team to be messed with. We’ll be back next year and we’ll be back better.”
In 2022, Quintero returned to the Dakar Rally alongside co-driver Dennis Zenz and proceeded to write his name into the record books. The American ultimately missed out on a podium place in the T3 category but achieved the highest number of stage wins in a single rally, securing 12 stage victories in Saudi Arabia.
Quintero and Zenz went one better at the 2023 Dakar, scoring second place overall in a Can-Am Maverick T3 as part of the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team USA.