Peugeot driver Carlos Sainz won the Arequipa – La Paz stage of the 2018 Dakar Rally, as the marathon held its final test before the mid-event rest day.
Sainz beat team-mate and rally leader Stephane Peterhansel by four minutes and six seconds to pick up his first stage win in this year’s Dakar.
Taking place at altitude of around 4000 metres above sea level, the rally’s six stage marked the end of the opening leg in Peru, with competition moving on to the Bolivian Altiplano.
The timed part of the stage was 195 miles long and split into two sections, separated by a 148-mile neutralised zone.
Sainz arrived to the end of the first, 73-mile-long run with a two-minute lead, having topped the timing sheets at all three waypoints along the way.
He continued to set the pace after the road section, and more than doubled his lead by the time he arrived at the finish line.
Settling for runner-up on Thursday, 13-time Dakar champion Peterhansel will head into the La Paz rest day with a 27-minute advantage over Sainz.
The rest of the chasing pack continues to be led by Toyota’s Bernhard ten Brinke, despite the Dutchman losing time through the stage against his Dakar-winning squadmates Nasser Al-Attiyah and Giniel de Villiers.
Ten Brinke’s deficit to Peterhansel in the general classification has increased to 1h21m, with Al-Attiyah a further four minutes down and de Villiers slotting in fifth, 11 minutes behind the Qatari.