A "bigger" and "stronger" Costa Toparis is ready for another crack at the Rotax Kart Mini Max World Championships.
Costa's father, Con Toparis, said the 12-year-old had matured over the past year and was prepared to go to the tournament, which will take place in Italy from October 19, as one of its top contenders.
"Costa's driven well this year, but he's really improved of late," Con said.
"He went last year, and he was the fastest kid there, but he wasn't the best. Some of the older kids were more experienced and raced better earlier.
"This year he's bigger, he's stronger, he's older. He's still slightly young for the category, but we're very confident at the moment. I think we're looking good."
Though the youngster missed out on the fourth round of the Australian Mini Max tour due to personal reasons, he dominated the races in which he did take part.
These results, along with victory in the Canadian National Championship in July, ensured he qualified for the World Championships.
Ahead of his trip to Italy, Costa said he was not nervous, but feeling "a lot of pressure".
"It's not necessarily scary, but you feel a lot of pressure in how you approach it and making sure that you're perfect when the time is needed," Costa said.
"I think it will be different racing against people from all around the world and I can bring that [experience] back to Australia."
The experience he gained from last year's World Championships in Brazil will hold Costa in good stead.
"I think whenever you go to a really big event of any sort, you take away experience and knowledge and you put that into whatever you do," he said.
"I think what I learnt last year will come into play this year."
Having gone through 2019 "virtually undefeated", Con said, Costa and his team would now be "one of the favourites".
The Toparis family also thanked Goulburn West Public School for its support of Costa and his racing career.
The Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals will take place in Sarno, Italy, from October 19 to 26.
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