SAN MARCOS, Calif. — Enzo Ferrari once said, “What’s behind you doesn’t matter.
For 18-year-old racer Seth Quintero, it’s what’s ahead that’s turning heads.
“My family got into racing just being a desert family,” the San Marcos resident said. “We all grew up riding quads and racing each other in the desert.”
Growing up riding dirt bikes, Quintero turned to racing UTV’s that his uncle built. His family-run team is one of the best in the country.
The Mission Hills High School class of 2020 graduate was a UTV World Champion at the age of 11 and was eventually signed by Red Bull as one of the youngest professional UTV riders in the history of the sport.
“Pretty crazy, I feel like there is a lot of pressure on me and eyes on me to do well but it’s nice because I feel like I’m bridging that gap to the generation behind me,” Quintero said. “There are not a lot of people my age doing this thing.”
Now Quintero is about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime: racing Dakar in Saudi Arabia, a 12-day, 5,000-mile trek that is 80% sand.
“You really don’t see anything like this anywhere else in the world,” Quintero said. “There’s no GPS and it’s going to be quite the adventure but I’m really looking forward to being 18 years old and having this opportunity.”
Dakar will start Jan. 3 and run through Jan. 15. Quintero can become the youngest in the history of the United States to win the race.