X-raid Mini driver Carlos Sainz Sr has taken the lead of the 2020 Dakar Rally after topping the third stage on Tuesday.
Sainz became the third different Mini driver to win a stage of the Saudi Arabia-based event, as he set the pace over the 265-mile loop around Neom in his buggy.
His final winning margin on the day was three minutes and 31 seconds over reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah, and he heads the Toyota driver by five minutes in the overall classification.
Stephane Peterhansel, who drives the other X-raid buggy, matched Sainz for pace for much of the stage, only to lose 10 minutes in the final stretch.
That meant Yakub Przygonski and privateer Yasir Seaidan completed the top four on the day in a pair of four-wheel-drive Minis.
Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso, who had lost over two hours to repairs on Monday, was fifth-fastest as he finished the stage just six minutes slower than Sainz.
A post-stage penalty for Al Attiyah has now moved Alonso into fourth after the Qatari driver was deemed to have impacted Sainz's run through the second neutralised zone at the 184-mile mark.
Al Attiyah and co-driver Lucas Cruz were said to have been given several audible warnings to move aside, according to the official documents, and a review of the GPS data led to the decision to give Al Attiyah a three-minute penalty.
The overall order does not change but Al Attiyah is now 7m55s off Sainz's leading time.
Overnight leader Orlando Terranova lost 13 minutes to Sainz but remains within the top three overall, and has over 10 minutes in hand to Toyota driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Peterhansel.
Mathieu Serradori, who drives a Century CR6 buggy, gave up 20 minutes but remains an impressive sixth and is marginally ahead of Monday stage winner Giniel de Villiers (Toyota).
Former World Rally Championship regular Khalid Al Qassimi, who had entered the day in seventh place, demolished his privateer Peugeot in a roll around 186 miles into the stage and exited the marathon.
Also dropping out was returnee Vladimir Vasilyev, who looked on course to enter the top 10 in the general classification before his X-raid Mini caught fire.
Leading stage three times
|1||Carlos Sainz||Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||3h48m01.s|
|2||Jakub Przygonski||Orlen X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||4m19.s|
|3||Yasir Saeidan||Race World Team||Mini/BMW||5m28.s|
|4||Fernando Alonso||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||6m14.s|
|5||Nasser Al-Attiyah||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||6m31.s|
|6||Yazeed Al-Rajhi||Overdrive Toyota||Toyota||7m36.s|
|7||Stephane Peterhansel||Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||10m26.s|
|8||Orlando Terranova||X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||12m52.s|
|9||Giniel de Villiers||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||16m21.s|
|10||Bernhard Ten Brinke||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||16m43.s|
Overall leading times
|1||Carlos Sainz||Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||11h00m20.s|
|2||Nasser Al-Attiyah||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||7m55.s|
|3||Orlando Terranova||X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||8m09.s|
|4||Yazeed Al-Rajhi||Overdrive Toyota||Toyota||18m58.s|
|5||Stephane Peterhansel||Bahrain JCW X-Raid Team||Mini/BMW||19m00.s|
|6||Mathieu Serradori||SRT Racing||Century/?||20m56.s|
|7||Giniel de Villiers||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||23m42.s|
|8||Bernhard Ten Brinke||Toyota Gazoo Racing||Toyota||33m23.s|
|9||Martin Prokop||MP Sports||Ford||48m05.s|
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