NAZCA, Peru - Qatari ace Nasser al-Attiyah won the 2013 Dakar rally’s third stage on Monday to make it three stages from three for his Red Bull Buggy team.
Dakar: Al-Attiyah takes Day 3
The 42-year-old, who won the race in 2011, moved to second in the overall standings some six-and-a-half minutes behind France's Mini-driving 10-times champion Stephane Peterhansel.
SAINZ PENALTY REVERSED
Peterhansel - he started the day in the overall lead only for al-Attiyah's team mate and 2010 champion Carlos Sainz to be reinstated over a technical fault the previous day - finished third in the stage while American veteran Robby Gordon was second.
Dakar stage 3 gallery
The technical problems that have affected the Buggy team hit Al-Attiyah at one point during the stage when he was penalised an hour which meant he dropped to 132nd and last in the car category.
However, according to race organisers, this was erroneous and due to a computer bug.
Another Frenchman is leading the motorcycling category - four-times winner and defending champion Cyril Despres on a KTM.
Despres, 38, didn't win the stage - that honour went to Portuguese Francisco ‘Chaleco’ Lopez on another KTM – but was third. Another Portuguese rider, Paulo Goncalves, was second.
Despres is leading Lopez by 2min51 while Norwegian Pal Ullevalseter is third and 4min59sec behind.
South Africa's Giniel de Villiers/Dirk van Zitzewitz are now running 15th after getting lost on Stage 3 and losing about 20 minutes.
Villiers, driving a Toyota Hilux, said after the stage: "Today was anything but good for us! It wasn't the car's fault, it's just that we made a huge navigational mistake which added almost 20km to our tally
"It got so bad that Dirk (his navigator, Von Zitzewitz) had to get out several times to see where we were and what direction we had to take. This is one of those mistakes which cost you dearly and in the end we must have lost roughly 25 minutes.
"That's the way it is... This is just the third special and there's still a long road before us so we'll stay focused and try to do much better on Tuesday. In the last few days we've already seen that things can change overnight at the Dakar..."
Monday's stage also saw a repeat winner in the quad category as Marcos Patronelli grabbed his second stage of 2013 and slightly bolstered his position despite having to deal with a slowly deflating tyre which forced him to slow down 30km from the finish.
The Argentinean driver now commands a 21min18 lead on his nearest competitor, Sebastian Husseini.
2013 Cars Stage 3 result
1 AL-ATTIYAH (QAT) Buggy 2hr30min14
2 GORDON (USA) Hummer 2hr31:32 +01min18
3 PETERHANSEL (FRA) Mini 2hr34:06 +03min52
4 ÁLVAREZ (ARG) Toyota 2hr39:50 +09min36
5 ROMA (ESP)MINI 2hr42:34 +12min20
6 NOVISTKIY (RUS) Mini 2hr45:43 +15min29
7 CHICHERIT (FRA) SMG 2hr46:29 +16min15
8 GADASIN (RUS ) G-Force Proto 2hr53:39 +23min25
9 LAVIEILLE (FRA) Proto Dessoude 2hr54:59 +24min45
10 ERRANDONEA (AND) SMG 2hr55:23 +25min09
2013 Dakar Rally Bikes Stage 3 result
1 Chaleco Lopez, Chile (KTM) 2hr37:54
2 Paolo Goncalves, Portugal (Husqvarna) 2hr39min02
3 Cyril Despres, France (KTM) 2hr42min02
4 Alessandro Botturi, Italy (Husqvarna) 2hr42min59
5 Jakub Przygonski, Poland (KTM) 2hr43min14
6 Daniel Gouet, Chile (Honda) 2hr44min29
7 Gerard Farres Guell, Spain (Honda) 2hr44min52
8 Frans Verhoeven, Netherlands (Yamaha) 2hr45min16
9 Olivier Pain, France (Yamaha) 2hr45min22
10 Javier Pizzolito, Argentina (Honda) 2hr45min33
Bikes overall standings after Stage 3
1 Cyril Despres (KTM) 6hr15min03
2 Chaleco Lopez (KTM) 6hr17min03
3 Pal-Anders Ullevalseter (KTM) 6hr20min02
4 Oliver Pain (Yamaha) 6hr21min06
5 David Casteu (Yamaha) 6hr21min11
6 Israel Esquerre (Honda) 6hr21min22
7 Frans Verhoeven (Yamaha) 6hr23min11
8 Jordi Viladoms (Husqvarna) 6hr24min11
9 Stefan Svitko (KTM) 6hr24min43
10 Jakub Przygonski (KTM) 6hr24min48
Full results shortly.
Wheels24 will be following the 'Dakar' rally throughout the race. Keep up with things on our Dakar Rally section.