Nasser Al-Attiyah has secured his second stage win of the 2009 Dakar Rally after setting the quickest time on the 551km run from Puerto Madryn to Jacobacci.
Having lost the lead to Volkswagen's Carlos Sainz during stage two, Al-Attiyah set about moving back up the order after a trip off-course on Sunday saw him slip from first place down to fourth.
The BMW man looked well placed to make up most of his stage two losses as he opened up an advantage of almost three minutes by the second checkpoint, but he lost time over the final part of the stage to finish just 35 seconds clear of Sainz.
Despite that, Al-Attiyah was still able to move back up to second place overall after three stages, three minutes and 40 seconds behind Sainz, with Giniel de Villiers slipping down to third place.
On the stage, Dieter Depping and de Villiers were third and fourth quickest ahead of Stephane Peterhansel. On what proved to be a difficult day for the team, which has already lost Hiroshi Masuoka, Peterhansel lost more than five minutes but that was nothing compared to team-mate Luc Alphand, who was forced to stop for more than half an hour and is now more than 40 minutes off the pace.
Alphand's problems mean Mark Miller has now broken into the top six, having been sixth quickest through the stage.
Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions on SS3:
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah
BMW X3 CC 04hrs 29m 27s
2. Carlos Sainz
Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 00m 35s
3. Dieter Depping
Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 01m 40s
4. Giniel de Villiers
Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 04m 01s
5. Stephane Peterhansel
Mitsubishi Racing Lancer +0hrs 05m 31s
6. Mark Miller
Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 08m 00s
Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions after SS3:
1. Carlos Sainz
Volkswagen Touareg 09hrs 04m 48s
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah
BMW X3 CC +0hrs 03m 40s
3. Giniel de Villiers
Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 05m 45s
4. Stephane Peterhansel
Mitsubishi Racing Lancer +0hrs 08m 47s
5. Nani Roma
Mitsubishi Racing Lancer +0hrs 14m 22s
6. Mark Miller
Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 15m 45s