Francisco Lopez celebrated the Dakar Rally’s first special stage in his native Chile by claiming stage six for his third win of this year’s edition.
With the stage win Lopez moves up to fourth in the general standings.
Defending bike champion Cyril Despres of France was third in the leg that took the competitors over 430 kilometres to Calama.
Despres is now two minutes and 22 seconds behind overall race leader and compatriot Olivier Pain, who struggled on the day and eventually crossed the line 9th seven and a half minutes adrift.
The 2013 Dakar Rally came to a premature end for 2010 car champion Carlos Sainz of Spain, who after winning stage one suffered a number of mechanical problems. Stage six was his last due to engine failure.
Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah picked up his third stage victory of this year’s edition to edge to within one minute and 18 seconds of leader and the race’s all-time record holder Stephane Peterhansel.
The Frenchman who has won the race on two and four wheels ten times finished the day second.