VW prepares for Dakar

David Hobbs

For many people, December means Christmas but for thousands of petrolheads it offers one of the highlights of the year during the middle of the motorsport off-season.

Yes, the Dakar Rally is nearly upon us and competitors are trekking over to Argentina for the 2010 event following the event's move from Africa to South America in 2009 because of security concerns.

For the Volkswagen team, the 2010 edition will bring an extra frisson of excitement; Geniel de Villiers struck lucky last year when he inherited the lead from team-mate Carlos Sainz who crashed with just three stages left to run.

The South African will be keen to defend his title in the VW Toureg while El Matador will be hoping he can finally claim victory on the event at the fifth time of asking to add to his two World Rally Championship titles.

Here's the team in their final preparations for the rally which begins in Buenos Aires on 2 January.

Dakar rally raid team ready for Dakar 2010