Two-time Dakar victor Nasser Al-Attiyah ended the third stage of the Dakar Rally strong, but still trailing Peugeot.
The No. 300 Mini completed today's 663km run with a time of 2:11:04. Rain continued to plague the event, a hurdle that cost the reigning champ, according to Al-Attiyah.
"It was a good day. We tried to push in some places but from the beginning, there was a lot of rain. This was not very good for us. We tried to manage but in the last part, it was raining a lot and we lost a little bit of time, but I'm still quite happy.
The Qatari is confident in his X-Raid squad heading into what is widely considered the most crucial part of the rally raid. Two days without any assistance will make or break the Dakar dream of several participants, a fact not lost on the 2015 winner of the car category.
"We start third and tomorrow will be the key of the Dakar -- marathon stage, two days without any service.
"Our car is strong and we will push tomorrow."
Interview by Elisabetta Caracciolo