Carlos Sainz became the first repeat stage winner of this year's Dakar Rally as he beat Nasser Al-Attiyah to extend his advantage overall to just under six minutes.
X-raid Mini Buggy driver Sainz came onto the stage with a 3m3s lead over Toyota rival Al-Attiyah and looked set to drop further time as he lost two-and-a-half-minutes on the opening 30 miles of Thursday's 219-mile Al Ula-Hail test.
But the two-time World Rally champion recovered to take a slender lead at the 155-mile mark and ended up pulling out 2m56s over Al-Attiyah over the remainder of the stage.
It means Sainz now has an enhanced advantage of 5m59s in the general classification as the rally nears its halfway point.
Stephane Peterhansel lost three minutes in his X-raid Buggy with a puncture and ended up 6m11s adrift of his team-mate at the end of the stage.
He now trails Sainz by 17m53s overall but holds a comfortable third place ahead of Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Toyota), who consolidated fourth by finishing in the same position on the stage.
Orlando Terranova holds fifth in the best of the X-raid Mini 4x4s, ahead of Matthieu Serradori's Century and Giniel de Villiers' factory Toyota.
Two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso notched up the second top-10 finish of his Dakar career as he came home seventh, 12m23s behind fellow countryman Sainz.
The Toyota driver still trails by more than three hours overall following his costly accident on Monday's second stage.
Leading stage five times
|1||C||Carlos Sainz||Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||3h52m01.s|
|2||C||Nasser Al-Attiyah||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||2m56.s|
|3||C||Stephane Peterhansel||Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||6m11.s|
|4||C||Yazeed Al-Rajhi||Overdrive Toyota||Toyota||8m29.s|
|5||C||Orlando Terranova||X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||8m52.s|
|6||C||Giniel de Villiers||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||11m46.s|
|7||C||Fernando Alonso||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||12m23.s|
|8||C||Yasir Saeidan||Race World Team||Mini/BMW||12m39.s|
|9||C||Jakub Przygonski||Orlen X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||12m47.s|
|10||C||Mathieu Serradori||SRT Racing||Century/?||17m49.s|
|1||C||Carlos Sainz||Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||19h04m13.s|
|2||C||Nasser Al-Attiyah||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||5m59.s|
|3||C||Stephane Peterhansel||Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||17m53.s|
|4||C||Yazeed Al-Rajhi||Overdrive Toyota||Toyota||31m39.s|
|5||C||Orlando Terranova||X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||32m05.s|
|6||C||Mathieu Serradori||SRT Racing||Century/?||44m44.s|
|7||C||Giniel de Villiers||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||46m26.s|
|8||C||Bernhard Ten Brinke||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||1h04m54.s|
|9||C||Yasir Saeidan||Race World Team||Mini/BMW||1h43m04.s|
|11||C||Ronan Chabot||Overdrive Toyota||Toyota||2h12m19.s|
|13||C||Wei Han||Geely Auto Shell Lubricant Team||Hanwei/Geely||2h29m08.s|
|14||C||Fernando Alonso||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||3h11m50.s|
|15||C||Jakub Przygonski||Orlen X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||6h46m43.s|
Get unlimited access to the world’s best motorsport journalism with Autosport Plus