Nasser Al-Attiyah appears destined to win the 2015 Dakar Rally after claiming his fifth stage victory in Termas de Rio Hondo on Thursday.
Nasser Al-Attiyah continued his charge to the 2015 Dakar Rally title on Thursday with victory in stage 11 as Yazeed Al-Rajhi dropped off the podium places.
The Qatari, representing Qatar Rally Team, finished 27 seconds ahead of Orlando Terranova (Monster Energy Rally Raid Team) on the run from Salta to Termas de Rio Hondo.
Giniel de Villiers (Toyota Imperial Team South Africa) was an additional 12 seconds back in third as Al-Attiyah further cemented his position at the top of the standings.
Al-Attiyah now leads the rally by over 29 minutes from De Villiers, with Krzysztof Holowczyc (Monster Energy Rally Raid Team) in the podium places following a dreadful day for Al-Rajhi.
Al-Rajhi's Toyota developed a major mechanical problem before the start of the stage and he was reported to have stopped shortly after it got under way.
But it is Al-Attiyah that will claim the spotlight in what has turned into a procession for the 2011 winner.
"We'll try to bring everything back to Buenos Aires and to win this Dakar because it will be very important for me, for my sponsor Red Bull, for Qatar, for everybody who supports me," Al-Attiyah said.
"It's a shame what has happened to Yazeed because he had a problem from yesterday with the engine.
"I feel sorry for him but this is the Dakar. You need to watch out for many, many things.
"He will learn and he will come back stronger next year. You need to be careful even until the podium. When you finish the Dakar, it's only finished after the podium."
The Dakar Rally's penultimate stage takes place on Friday as it travels from Termas de Rio Hondo to Rosario.