Frenchman Sebastien Loeb’s first assault on the Dakar Rally continued in astonishing style on Thursday when he won his third stage out of four in Argentina.
The nine-time World Rally champion, driving for the Team Peugeot Total outfit, won the 327km stretch from Jujuy to Uyuni in three hours 32 minutes 34 seconds to extend his overall lead.
Team mate Carlos Sainz was a superb second just 22 seconds behind Loeb, with Stephane Peterhansel rounding out the Team Peugeot Total 1-2-3 some three minutes behind the Frenchman.
Loeb is now seven minutes 48 seconds clear of Peterhansel in the overall standings with Sainz’s superbly competitive showing moving him to third place overall.
Australian Toby Price put himself firmly back in the picture for the bikes title with a crushing stage win.
He completed the four-hour-plus stage some two minutes faster than Frenchman Antoine Meo with Stefan Svitko making it a KTM 1-2-3 in third.
The victory moves Price into third place overall with Portugal’s Paulo Goncalves leading and Svitko moving into second place.
“Today was a little bit tricky with the navigation,” Price said.
“I had to stay on top of the game. I caught a couple of other guys and got in some dust. I made a couple of little errors in the end there, because I was a little too worried to take my eyes off the road. It was a pretty crazy track.”