Costa Toparis, a young driver from Australia prevailed in the Rotax Mini-Max Final that was exciting from start to finish and he was the only driver not from the host country to secure a ticket to the Rotax Grand Finals at the Canadian Open in Mont-Tremblant.
American Brent Crews (J3/CompKart) led the field to the green flag after winning Saturday’s red-flag shortened PreFinal. The defending Rotax Grand Finals Micro-Max Champion played his cards right early on, maintaining the lead while the chasing pack of racers including Toparis (PSL/BirelART), Austria’s Oscar Wurz (BCR/BirelART), Canadian Frankie Esposito (Prime/BirelART) and Americans Ashton Henckel (Prime/BirelART) and Caleb Grafarar (PSL/BirelART), all fought to overtake the race leader.
Crews maintained his advantage at the front and each time a driver tried to pass him, often on the long back straight, he would quickly counter the move into the final corner and defend the inside line. Positions two through six changed hands every lap with nearly everyone having a chance at Crews, but none were successful.
At halfway Crews was able to break free when Wurz, Grafarar and Esposito tangled enough to slow the group up. Toparis made his move for second a lap later and then began to close in the on the race leader.
The gap of 1.6 seconds was closed in just over two laps and wasting no time, Toparis tried to overtake down the straight. With Crews on the inside, he opted for the outside and nearly completed the pass before the corner. But Crews threw it in deep and that resulted in Toparis being forced wide, over the curb and into the grass.
He was able to resume, albeit far enough back that this time he wasn’t able to close back in on the race leader. Crews arrived at the finish line first while Toparis overtook Grafarar on the final lap to regain second from the American.
After the race, Crews was accessed a three-second penalty from the stewards, knocking him off the podium and elevating Toparis to the win, Grafarar to second and Esposito to third. Wurz wound up fourth followed by Crews.