Title triumph: A’jahni Foggo (Photographs by Ras Mykkal)
Flying dirt, pungent fumes of high octane racing fuel and the distinctive sound of high powered engines filled the air at Southside Raceway yesterday, as the New Year’s Day Trophy Racing Series reached its zenith, with a bevy of champions being crowned.
Daredevils on two wheels, encompassing all ages and genders, from Pee Wee to novice, to expert and those over 30 brought many a thrill to a large audience, but not without a few spills and, for several, agonising defeat.
As the dust settled and engines fell silent, among those standing at the top of the heap holding well earned trophies coated in gold – courtesy of former champion Colin Emery’s Circle Cycles – were the father and son duo of Allan Degraff and A’jahni Foggo, who took leading honours in the Expert and 85cc classes respectively.
Degraff, just as he did on Boxing Day, ruled the senior class, with a pair of first place finishes in the first and third races, with a lack of concentration at the third turn in the second race proving costly, as he slid out.
The fall erased the progress he had made to overtake Zico Majors, who gladly accepted the gift, recording his lone race win on the day.
Out on top: Allan Degraff
“I had one little lack of concentration,” explained Degraff of the spill that cost him a garnering a hat-trick of victories on the day. “I should have won them all, but that’s how it goes.
“Overall it was a good race day. The track was in good condition and Zico Majors gave me a run right down to the last moto, where it was a winner take all type of race.
“I ended up winning, but congrats to him for keeping the competition tough and I’m ready for the next one.”
Foggo, while not as successful as his father on the day, was rewarded for his consistency on both Boxing Day, where he won all three motos, and New Year’s Day. Foggo recorded first, second and third place finishes on Sunday, which gave him the series title over Azai Burt.
“I like everything about motocross racing,” said Foggo, after trading in his motor for a pedal powered BMX bike to get around in the pits. “I like the jumps, the speed, everything.
“My father gives me a lot of encouragement and helps me with my racing.”
The 14-year-old has high ambitions in the sport, with a goal of making it to the professional ranks.
“I want to make it to supercross,” said Foggo. “I really like [Chase] Sexton, how he rides.”
Arguably the most intense battle took place in the Novice class between the season’s points leader Anwar Muhammad and Rudell Pitcher Jr.
Air time: Rudell Pitcher
Just as was the case on Boxing Day, Pitcher was able to upset the form book and keep his rival at bay in taking the series title.
“It was a pretty good day out there for me,” said Pitcher of his performance. “We had some good races and some good battles.
“I’ve been training hard, which really helped me to do well.”
Finding solace despite falling agonisingly short of his goal was Muhammad, who gave respect to Pitcher, while vowing to continue to strive for the top spot.
“I came up a bit short, but that’s how it goes in racing,” said Muhammad, unquestionably the most consistent rider in the class this season. “The main thing is that I’m happy to have finished the day uninjured.
“The bike’s good and I can come back and race again.”
Muhammad explained how he was unable to fully commit to going all out due to an injury incurred on Boxing Day, when a rock slammed into his middle finger.
Coming up short: Anwar Muhammad
“I tested myself on a practice lap, but realised I could not apply much pressure on it to be able to do what I would have wanted for more than a couple laps,” said Muhammad, who was second in all three races. “I did not want to push it, but that’s not to take anything away from LJ, he’s riding really well and I just had to let him go and take my second place.”
Trophy success: Kody Paul
Others to be crowned Trophy Series champions were Maddox Seymour Durham in the Pee Wee class, Kody Paul (50cc class), Mazaii Tucker (65cc class), Nyla Goodchild (85cc Ladies class) and Lorenzo Burch (Over 30 class).
Battling the terrain: Mazaii Tucker
Bermuda Motocross Association (BMA) president Gannon Trott was pleased with the performances and turnout.
“Overall it was a success and we didn’t have any injuries, which is first and foremost,” said Trott. “Our riders came and represented.
Taking off: Maddox Seymour Durham
“Those that couldn’t make it still have the second half of the season, which starts January 14.
All in all, for Boxing Day and New Year’s it’s been a raging success. The weather held up. The track held up.
Expert handling: Nyla Goodchild
“It’s been like the good old days we used to have at Coney Island.
“It’s always a good vibe here period. There’s a family atmosphere and we invite and tell people all the time that it’s a good family event and for those that couldn’t make it, we still have half of the season left and they are welcome to come down and support us.”