Stephane Peterhansel brought his Dakar Rally lead back up to over three minutes by winning stage seven on Friday.
Nasser Al-Attiyah had closed to within 1m18s of Peterhansel's X-raid Mini when he set the pace on the preceding stage.
But although Al-Attiyah was quickest out of the blocks on Friday, it was Peterhansel who emerged on top by the finish in Salta.
Al-Attiyah was only sixth fastest on the stage, losing just under two minutes to the leader.
Guerlain Chicherit showed strong pace in the SMG Buggy by challenging Peterhansel for the fastest time, losing out by just 39 seconds.
Robby Gordon's Hummer was third quickest, closely followed by Orlando Terranova and Giniel de Villiers.
The latter continues to hold third overall, ahead of Leonid Novitskiy.
AUTOSPORT Dakar blogs:
Leading positions after stage seven: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Stephane Peterhansel X-raid Mini 16h23m43s 2. Nasser Al-Attiyah Red Bull Buggy + 3m14s 3. Giniel de Villiers Imperial Toyota + 44m03s 4. Leonid Novitskiy X-raid Mini + 48m54s 5. Guerlain Chicherit SMG Buggy + 1h17m05s 6. Ronan Chabot SMG Buggy + 1h34m51s 7. Nani Roma X-raid Mini + 1h38m27s 8. Bernard Errandonea SMG Buggy + 2h02m17s 9. Orlando Terranova X-raid BMW + 2h06m38s 10. Carlos Sousa Great Wall + 2h07m29s Leading stage seven times: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Stephane Peterhansel X-raid Mini 1h47m27s 2. Guerlain Chicherit SMG Buggy + 39s 3. Robby Gordon Gordon Hummer + 1m08s 4. Orlando Terranova X-raid BMW + 1m11s 5. Giniel de Villiers Imperial Toyota + 1m32s 6. Nasser Al-Attiyah Red Bull Buggy + 1m56s 7. Erick Wevers Wevers HRX Ford + 3m45s 8. Leonid Novitskiy X-raid Mini + 4m07s 9. Carlos Sousa Great Wall + 4m34s 10. Lucio Alvarez Overdrive Toyota + 6m24s
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