Stephane Peterhansel moved into the lead of the Dakar Rally on Friday, despite the X-raid team calling off the fight for victory on the previous day.
The Frenchman trailed team-mate Nani Roma by over five minutes going into Friday's 12th stage from El Salvador to La Serena, and the team had decided it did not want to take any risks.
"The game is over," said Peterhansel on Thursday. "We've had a good laugh and enjoyed ourselves. Yesterday evening, the team asked us to not take any more risks."
However, Peterhansel won Friday's stage and overtook Roma at the top of the standings.
He now leads the Spaniard by 26 seconds ahead of Saturday's final stage.
Peterhansel's was his fourth stage victory of the rally. He finished over three minutes ahead of Nasser At-Attiyah and almost six ahead of Roma, who was third.
Toyota's Giniel de Villers was again the first non-Mini driver at the finish line, coming home in fourth ahead of Krzysztof Holowczyc, who completed the top five despite suffering a puncture.
Saturday's deciding stage from La Serena to Valparaiso is only 157km.
Leading stage 12 times: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Stephane Peterhansel X-raid Mini 3h38m19s 2. Nasser Al-Attiyah X-raid Mini +3m38s 3. Nani Roma X-raid Mini +5m58s 4. Giniel de Villiers Imperial Toyota +10m48s 5. Krzysztof Holowczyc X-raid Mini +18m06s 6. Ronan Chabot SMG Buggy +18m24s 7. Boris Garafulic X-raid Mini +25m26s 8. Lucio Alvarez Ford +26m15s 9. Orlando Terranova X-raid Mini +29m50s 10. Christian Lavieille Haval +31m09s Leading overall positions after stage 12: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Stephane Peterhansel X-raid Mini 48h45m45s 2. Nani Roma X-raid Mini +26s 3. Nasser Al-Attiyah X-raid Mini +54m07s 4. Giniel de Villiers Imperial Toyota +1h21m13s 5. Orlando Terranova X-raid Mini +1h27m57s 6. Krzysztof Holowczyc X-raid Mini +3h57m25s 7. Marek Dabrowski Orlen Toyota +5h26m09s 8. Christian Lavieille Haval +5h34m59s 9. Martin Kaczmarski X-raid Mini +6h55m33s 10. Vladimir Vasilyev X-raid Mini +7h00m59s