The Hummers of Nasser Al-Attiyah and Robby Gordon set the pace on stage seven of the Dakar Rally, but Stephane Peterhansel retains a comfortable overall lead.
Last year's winner Al-Attiyah was quickest by seven and a half minutes on the circular stage around Copiapo, with teammate Gordon second despite having to stop with a puncture early on.
Al-Attiyah's stage win moved him up to sixth overall as he continued to recover from his myriad early delays, but he remains 42 minutes off the lead.
"The car worked perfectly well today and we attacked from the beginning to the end of the special. We took a lot of risks to set the best time," he said.
Gordon was thrilled with his car's pace as he took third position from Nani Roma.
"It really was a perfect day for the Hummers," said the American. "I had a flat 25km into the first special and Peterhansel overtook me, but we were later able to move back ahead of him. It is obvious that our car is extremely fast on this type of terrain."
Peterhansel still holds an 11-minute advantage over his X-raid Mini teammate Krzysztof Holowczyc at the head of the field, and felt the Copiaco loop stage was simply too well suited to the Hummers for him to have a chance today.
"There was a moment when we overtook Gordon, who had just stopped due to a flat tire, but he later caught up with us and then overtook us at full speed," said Peterhansel. "We tried to follow him, but it was impossible. With his wide clearings, he was able to jump over the gaps! If we attempted to go that fast, we would roll over twice. We suffer a bit in these open desert areas."
The rally now pauses for its traditional rest day on Sunday before resuming for its concluding leg on Monday.
Leading positions after stage seven:
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
1. Stephane Peterhansel Mini 15h32m53s
2. Krzysztof Holowczyc Mini + 11m22s
3. Robby Gordon Hummer + 13m09s
4. Nani Roma Mini + 18m05s
5. Giniel de Villiers Toyota + 34m07s
6. Nasser Al-Attiyah Hummer + 42m54s
7. Leonid Novitskiy Mini + 54m26s
8. Carlos Sousa Great Wall + 1h12m50s
9. Lucio Alvarez Toyota + 1h41m38s
10. Erik van Loon Mitsubishi + 1h48m39s