Stage two of the Silk Way took the riders on a 785km trip eastwards from Cheboksary to Ufa, with 157km of special section on the menu.
Peugeot once again were the top dogs in the cars, with 13-time Dakar winner Stephane Peterhansel leading another 1-2-3 ahead of defending champion Cyril Despres (+1:47) and nine-time World Rally Champion driver Sebastien Loeb (+1:48).
Peterhansel leads Loeb by 1:19 and Despres by 3:32 in the overall standings.
Mini driver Bryce Menzies was the best of the rest (4th, +8:51), but teammate Yazeed Alrahji blew his chances of victory after getting stuck in water and losing over two hours.
Chinese driver Han Wei continued his impressive start by coming in fifth.
In the trucks, Maarten van den Brink won stage two and takes over the rally lead. He is just 13 seconds ahead of Gerard De Rooy, who was second on the day (+2:04).