PEUGEOT IN THE LEAD: Stephane Peterhansel raced to victory during the sixth stage of the Dakar Rally. Image: AP / Jorge Saenz
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia - Dakar Rally legend Stephane Peterhansel proved too strong for his Peugeot team mates Carlos Sainz and Sebastien Loeb during Stage 6 around the largest salt flats in the world in Bolivia.
Success for the veteran driver powered him into the overall lead to give him a massive boost in his quest for a 12th success in motorsport's toughest challenge.
Peterhansel lined up for the 542km timed run in Uyuni, the longest stage of the rally, eight minutes adrift of nine-time world rally champion Loeb.
Peugeot in charge
But already the winner of Wednesday's fourth stage he now goes into Saturday's drive from Uyuni to Salta in Argentina at the head of the pack.
He leads Dakar debutant Loeb by 27sec with Sainz in third at 5min 55sec.
After a stunning drive in Uyuni, Peterhansel timed 5hrs 1min 7sec to cross the line 17sec ahead of Sainz with Loeb over eight minutes adrift in another sweep for Peugeot.
Peterhansel competed in his first Dakar in 1988, winning the first of his six overall victories on two wheels back in 1991 and taking his 11th victory behind the wheel of a Mini in 2013.
In the bikes category, Tony Price took the day's honours on a KTM.
The Australian beat Paulo Goncalves by 1min 12sec but despite losing out the Portuguese Honda rider retained the overall lead.