South African 2009 Dakar winner Giniel de Villiers will lead the off-road racing field when the 2012 edition kicks off in Argentina on January 1. Although the honour of pole position generally falls to the winner of the previous race, De Villiers will take the position of his former VW team mate Nasser Al Attiyah who will not defend his 2011 title. This time around De Villiers and his German co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz will be campaign one of two South African-built Toyota Hilux V8 double-cabs on the 9000km race across three countries in 15 days. FLYING SA'S FLAG DAKAR VETERAN: South African driver Alfie Cox and his German co-driver Jürgen Schröder while testing their Pewano XC60 RR. Seasoned local off-road champs Duncan Vos and Rob Howie will crew the second Hilux in the top T1 class for all-wheel drive vehicles and yet another South African, off-road biking legend Alfie Cox and his German co-driver Jürgen Schröder, will contest the rally in a Pewano Volvo XC60 RR.The Dakar will start in the Argentine seaside resort of Mar del Plata on January 1, 2012 and finish 9000km later in Lima, Peru, on January 15. Special stages are planned for Argentina, Chile and – for the first time – Peru in which competitors will cross South America's Andes mountains and Atacama Desert. The 33rd Dakar Rally will be contested by 465 vehicles: 185 motorcycles, 171 cars, 76 trucks and 33 quads.