The organization of the 2012 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy continues at full speed, with a fleet of specially-prepared F800GS machines having already left the Touratech factory to make the journey across the Atlantic Ocean to Chile. Team qualification is also in full swing with many new Latin American participants hoping to join the party which begins late in November. Here’s a summary of the latest national pre-qualifiers, including some of the names hoping to make it to Chile and Argentina for the main event.
Three participants from each nation will move forward to a single qualifier in Panama to determine the final Latin America team that will compete in the International GS Trophy. The next national qualifier to take place will be the Argentinean GS Trophy team selection trial, which takes place this weekend.
One of the many teams entering the ‘Trophy’ for the first time, Chile had its pre-qualifier in Santiago, where around 20 riders signed up to take part in a challenging and adventurous weekend at the BMW Enduro Camp near the capital city. Despite the cold weather the participants enjoyed two days of non-stop GS fun that many said was the most exciting riding experience of their lives so far. The event started with the usual briefing and technical explanations, followed by a track familiarization and tour through the campsite before the real action began.
After undertaking various tests of navigation, off-road skills, technical and teamwork exercises, all the competitors were welcomed in a special setting with tents, campfire and lounge area, where they could relax with the friends and family that had come to support them. Benjamín Hermosilla, Alberto Cáceres and Antonio Flores were the three winners of this arduous and thrilling weekend.
Again, it was another ‘first’ as Colombian riders from all over the country came to the ‘La Laguna’ off-road track to be part of the inaugural GS Trophy pre-qualifier, held over three days in the department of Cundimamarca. Attracting over 30 participants, the event took place in beautiful surroundings, within an ambience of companionship and teamwork known by GS riders the world over. The competitors enjoyed the challenges, the various riding conditions and the chance to improve their skills and learn more about their bikes.
Companionship, joy and entertainment were the key factors of this journey, which was well supported by family, friends and other motorcycling enthusiasts, keen to see the magnificent show of skills and knowledge on display. After a series of various tests – where the participants were evaluated in teamwork, navigation, coordination, endurance and the ability to simply have fun – there were three well-deserved winners picked to represent Colombia. They are Carlos Peláez, Alejandro Gómez and Andrés Mejía.
Taking place at the Enduro Park of Bavarian Motors (the official BMW Motorrad importer of Costa Rica) the country’s national GS Trophy pre-qualifier generated a lot of interest among GS enthusiasts in Costa Rica, keen to be part of this friendly event. The various tests of navigation took place in the surroundings of the picturesque enduro park camp, which allowed the visitors and spectators the chance to enjoy the fantastic setting and views, while the participants battled through the various challenges as they demonstrated all their skills and knowledge, while contesting this qualifier for the first time.
The desire, effort and passion were clearly shown by all participants throughout the event, but nevertheless, there could only be three winners chosen to go forward from this pre-qualifier. They are Daniel Agüero, Alejandro Barrios and David Fonseca.
In Guatemala, it was a similar story, with the unique camaraderie of GS riders well and truly on display at this debut qualifying event. With friends, family and press colleagues turning up to cheer on all participants, the competitors enjoyed demonstrating their off-road riding abilities during this extensive trial, which consisted of 12 separate tests over the course of the weekend.
Despite a lot of talented riding on display, there could only be three winners selected to represent Guatemala in the ‘finals’. Juan Pablo Barrientos, Ivan Cifuentes Iralda and Jose Valenzuela are the lucky trio who made the most of their abilities during these challenging tests.
In preparation for the big regional qualifier, the Nitro City action sports resort in Punta Chame hosted this exciting event. A dozen riders made the shortlist to participate in a series of tests and riding exercises, while many others who didn’t make the final cut will be doing their best to make sure they have the chance to take part in the next one.
Taking advantage of the many facilities of this action sport resort (that includes a beachfront motocross track designed by Travis Pastrana and Hubert Rowland) the lucky participants pushed themselves and their machines to the limit on a variety of special tests. After a long weekend surrounded by the support of their loved ones, three local riders were selected to represent Panama after this regional qualifier. Saúl Trejo, Mario Alvarado and Francis Cover are the three riders that demonstrated the best overall skills during the whole event.
Lima was the stage for the first competition of this kind in Peru. Attracting lots of interest throughout the country, many people made the journey to the capital not just to participate but also to cheer on their fellow GS riders and enjoy the great ambience on display. The general feeling between all of the participants was that it was an adrenaline-fuelled event, high on entertainment but also with the opportunity to improve existing skills and relax among fellow enthusiasts also enjoying the GS lifestyle.
Various different challenges were designed to seek out the most highly-skilled Peruvian GS riders, with Christian Duerr and Renato Dongo Ilbert coming out on top.