Carlos Sainz has re-taken the lead on the 2009 Dakar Rally following day seven of the event on Friday.

Sainz, who began the day in P2 overall - 7 minutes 39 seconds behind team-mate Giniel de Villiers, completed the shortened seventh stage between Mendoza and Valparaiso in 2 hours 35 minutes 27 seconds.

Mark Miller was second and 'best of the rest', 3 minutes 41 seconds adrift, while American Robby Gordon came in third in his Hummer, another 32 seconds further back.

Nani Roma was fourth for Mtsubishi followed by Guerlain Chicherit and de Villiers, who inherited the lead on Thursday when Nasser Al-Attiyah was disqualified.

Sainz's quickest time - his third stage victory of the event - was enough to give him the overall lead, albeit just 9 seconds up on his South African team-mate. Miller is third to leave VW 1-2-3 ahead of the rest day on Saturday.

Stephane Peterhanel meanwhile again had problems and an engine fire has robbed him of any chance of grabbing a tenth victory on what is his 20th Dakar outing. He is currently waiting to be towed out of the stage.

Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions on SS7:

1. Carlos Sainz Volkswagen Touareg 2hrs 35m 27s
2. Mark Miller Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 03m 41s
3. Robby GordonHummer H3+0hrs 04m 13s
4. Nani Roma Mitsubishi Racing Lancer +0hrs 05m 37s
5. Guerlain Chicherit BMW X3 CC+0hrs 06m 08s
6. Giniel de Villiers Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 07m 48s

Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions after SS7:

1. Carlos Sainz Volkswagen Touareg 23hrs 42m 40s
2. Giniel de Villiers Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 00m 09s
3. Mark Miller Volkswagen Touareg +0hrs 13m 53s
4. Nani Roma Mitsubishi Racing Lancer +0hrs 29m 16s
5. Robby GordonHummer H3+1hrs 08m 21s
6. Krzysztof Holowczyc Nissan Navara+2hrs 39m 32s



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