Carlos Sainz took control of the Dakar Rally on Tuesday after the 2010 champion won a shortened ninth stage around Belen in Argentina.
The day’s challenge was shortened due to the extreme heat and ended at the second checkpoint.
Sainz beat Mini teammates Erik Van Loon and Mikko Hirvonen in a new-look stage podium.
Dakar newcomer and nine times world rally champion Sebastien Loeb plummeted down the leaderboard and out of contention after getting stuck in the dunes several times.
11-times Dakar champion Stephane Peterhansel finished the day 7th but is second overall, just over seven minutes behind Sainz.
Australian KTM rider and overall race leader Toby Price enjoyed his fifth win in the bikes category.
Paulo Gonçalves, who was second overall at the start of the day, had trouble with his engine.
The Portuguese rider was towed over line and accredited a grouped time at the second checkpoint, but he’s now in a race against the clock to make repairs without the assistance of his technicians in order to carry on.