Sebastien Loeb delivered a driving masterclass on Tuesday to claim stage three of the 38th edition of the Dakar Rally.
It was the second stage win for the French nine-times world rally champion and Dakar debutant, who extended his lead at the top of the overall race standings over South African Giniel De Villiers, who finished the day’s challenge in fourth.
Second fastest over the 314 kilometre special between Termas Rio Hondo and Jujuy in Argentina was Loeb’s Peugeot teammate and 2010 winner Carlos Sainz of Spain.
Argentine Kevin Benavides rode his Honda to stage honours in the bike category although Joan Barreda had initially won the stage for his 14th career Dakar victory and for a short time was leading the overall standings.
However the Spaniard was caught speeding in the connection zone and later handed a one minute penalty which dropped him down to fifth on the day and third overall behind Benavides and Stefan Svitko of Slovakia who was fourth on Tuesday.
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