It was another long and demanding stage for the Silkway rally competitors in Russia.
Nasser Al Attiyah managed to clock the fastest time over the 347 kilometre special to Maykop, located on the right bank of the Belaya River.
Although it was the Qatari driver’s second consecutive stage the time he gained on the day was still not enough to trouble overall leader Carlos Sainz of Spain.
Sainz, who finished the stage second, still has a comfortable 11 minute and 16 second advantage that now looks to be too big for Al Attiyah to catch on the Rally’s final special heading to Sochi.
After a navigational nightmare the previous day six-time Dakar Rally winner Vladimir Chagin of Russia hit back in style steering his Kamaz to the line in outstanding fashion to take victory.
His third stage success in this years edition moved him back into second place overall behind team-mate and race leader Eduard Nikolaev.
The young Nikolaev holds a 23 minute and 7 second lead over Chagin with 16kms of racing left and bar accident is set to take his first major rally title.