Stephane Peterhansel began his Dakar Rally fightback by beating Peugeot team-mate Cyril Despres to top the eighth stage, while Carlos Sainz consolidated his substantial lead.
Peterhansel was lower than usual in the starting order, having lost his overall lead on Saturday when he spent over an hour and a half at a standstill with suspension damage.
On Sunday, he recovered a small chunk of the lost time, recording his second stage win of this year's Dakar on the 309-mile timed special between Bolivian cities Uyuni and Tupiza.
Despres, 45 hours down in the general classification after opening-week travails, challenged Peterhansel throughout the day but had to make do with the runner-up position, 49 seconds off the pace.
Toyota's Nasser Al-Attiyah was best of the rest behind the Peugeot duo and did enough to hold off Peterhansel in the battle for second place in the general classification.
Qatari driver Al-Attiyah was top of the timesheets at the first two waypoints, but ended up two minutes adrift - with another seven still separating him and Peterhansel in the overall standings.
Al-Attiyah's team-mates Bernhard ten Brinke and Giniel de Villiers traded places in the general classification, de Villiers dropping down to fifth after losing over 20 minutes over the day.
Having inherited a sizeable lead on Saturday, Sainz paced himself through the stage as he opened the road, finishing seven minutes down on his pacesetting team-mate.
With Monday's test called off due to inclement weather, Sainz will head into the closing five-day stretch of the marathon with a lead of one hour and seven minutes.