Damen Jefferies produced a stunning performance to clinch stage 6 of the Silk Way Rally.
The experienced American driver completed the 111km trek from Balkash to Almaty ahead of French duo Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret.
The defending Dakar champions bounced back from their spectacular accident on Wednesday with a solid display, en route to a hard-fought second place while Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena came home third.
Cyril Despres endured a frustrating day as he had to settle for 15th place, 8 minutes behind the winner. He stills leads the overall standings ahead of fellow countryman Loeb while Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov are currently third and fourth respectively.
Airat Mardeev reigned supreme in the trucks category. The Russian, who suffered a turbo failure on the fifth stage, proved unstoppable and dominated his opponents from the outset winning in an impressive time of 1 hour, 16 minutes and 18 seconds.
Mardeev edged out Dutch rival Maarten Van Den Brink, who is second in the overall standings, eight minutes behind Eduard Nikolaev after the Russian lost precious time due to a puncture.