Arequipa, Peru: Nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb claimed the honours in a private entry Peugeot for his second stage win of this year's edition at Dakar Rally on Friday, but Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah continued to hold the advantage with a second-place finish.
Loeb finished more than 10 minutes in front of two-time Dakar champion and overnight leader Al Attiyah in a Toyota and 24min 04sec ahead of Spain's Nani Roma in a Mini.
"It was a beautiful stage and we attacked strongly," said Loeb who had endured three punctures on Thursday's fourth stage.
Al Attiyah shrugged off Loeb's performance.
"Sebastien had nothing to lose, he had to push to climb back into the time charts," he said.
"As far as I'm concerned, I think (13-time winner) Stephane Peterhansel is the dangerman."
However, Peterhansel is now 24 minutes behind Al Attiyah in the title race after a fourth-place finish on Friday, 26 minutes back from Loeb and 16 off his Qatari rival.
It was a disastrous day for Peterhansel whose car became ensnared in binding 'fesh fesh' dune grass and had to be towed out by Roma.