Former winner Nasser Al-Attiyah was the fastest through the 343 km long third stage as rival Stephane Peterhansel finished third. Getty Images
Qatari ace Nasser Al-Attiyah won the Dakar Rally third stage here on Monday to make it three stages from three for his Red Bull Buggy team.
The 42-year-old driver - who won the race in 2011 - moved to second in the overall standings some six-and-a-half minutes behind France's Mini-driving 10-time champion Stephane Peterhansel.
Peterhansel - who had started the day in the overall lead only for Al-Attiyah's team-mate and 2010 champion Carlos Sainz to be reinstated over a technical fault the previous day - finished third in the stage while American veteran Robby Gordon was second.
The technical problems that have affected the Buggy team hit Al-Attiyah at one point during the stage when he was allegedly penalised an hour which meant he dropped to 132nd and last in the car category.
However, according to race organisers this was erroneous and due to a computer bug.
Another Frenchman leads in the motorcycling category in the shape of four-time winner and defending champion Cyril Despres on a KTM.
Despres, 38, didn't win the stage, that honour going to Portuguese Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez also on a KTM - the Frenchman finished third while another Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves finished second.
Despres leads Lopez by 2min 51sec while Norwegian Pal Ullevalseter is third some 4min 59sec adrift.