After the navigation issues on Day 2, Nasser Al-Attiyah stormed to the top of stage 3 with his scintillating performance. Aided by the additional 30mm ground clearance and the weight loss of 80kg, the Toyota Hilux tuned out to be the fastest despite two flat tyres through the day. This has put the two-time Dakar champ third on the overall grid ahead of Sebastien Loeb.
The French rally ace, who hoped to make inroads on the last day of dune bashing and sandy beach runs, was unable to put his foot down in the tricky terrain. Meanwhile, fellow Peugeot driver Stephane Peterhansel raced to the top of the overall classification after finishing second in the third stage. He now has a three-minute lead over the previous race leader Cyril Despres, also drivng a Peugeot. Team Peugeot is performing consistently after the debacle on day 1 only to be challenged by Gazoo Toyota at the hand of Al-Attiyah.
Mini’s Mikko Hirvonen had a bad day, slipping to 20th position overall while teammate Orlando Terranova managed to stay in the top ten on the way from Pisco to San Juan de Marcona for the fourth stage.