Nasser Al-Attiyah reduced his Volkswagen teammate Carlos Sainz's Dakar Rally lead to 11 minutes by winning the longest stage of the event.
Al-Attiyah overcame X-raid BMW driver Stephane Peterhansel to claim the stage victory on Friday's 600-kilometer long Iquique to Antofagasta leg, beating the Dakar legend by 3m29s and Sainz by 4m21s. As well as bringing him closer to Sainz, the result moves Al-Attiyah 11 minutes clear of fellow VW driver Mark Miller in their battle for second place overall.
Peterhansel's second place on today's stage continued his excellent recovery from the prop-shaft problem that cost him the lead on Wednesday. That drama had dropped the X-raid car to 10th overall, but he is already back up to fifth place, just 16 seconds behind teammate Guerlain Chicherit.
Both X-raid drivers moved ahead of Overdrive Nissan driver Krzysztof Holowczyc on today's stage, and gained additional ground as Carlos Sousa (JMB Mitsubishi) and Robby Gordon (Hummer) both hit trouble.