In motorsports, fractions of a second can decide everything.
In Costa Toparis' case, only eight hundredths of a second stood between him and a world championship.
At the recently concluded Rotax Grand Finals, which were held in Sarno, Italy, from October 21 to October 26, Costa finished third in the Mini division, only .08 seconds behind first-placed Jolan Raccamier.
Though the young Goulburn local was confident that he had what it took to win, his father, Con Toparis, said he was still "satisfied and happy with [third]."
"He had the carrot on his back and he handled it very well, I couldn't be more proud of how he handled the pressure," Con said.
Throughout the week-long event, Costa quickly established himself as one of the drivers to beat.
Although he was caught off-guard by changes to the engine package which made them easier to handle and didn't punish drivers as much for carelessness with the throttle, Costa adapted quickly and was still the quickest driver on the track.
"It took a slight advantage off Costa, his strength is his throttle control and it enabled you to engage the throttle faster and more abruptly without punishing you," Con said.
"It's a good change, it'll make racing closer, but it didn't work in our favour."
For the second year running, Costa recorded the quickest lap of the world championship, with a time of 1.04.906, and Con could not express emphatically enough how impressive that achievement is.
"I'd really like to emphasise ... that it's not a regional stage or a state stage or a national stage, it was on the world stage, and he displayed to the world that he's one of the fastest mini max drivers in the world," Con said.
"If you were there, nobody would dispute that. There was a lot of pressure on the little fella, he was definitely a leading contender."
The definitive moment of the championships came during the last moments of the final race.
Costa was in the lead with roughly 100 metres to go, before his go-kart received a knock from a French competitor.
The 12-year-old was unable to recover his momentum and slipped to third place, behind Raccamier in first and Andy Ratel in second.
It brought to an end a hugely successful week for the youngster, and Con was at peace with his son's fortunes.
"At that level, in any sport, you need a little bit of luck," Con said.
"He was hit, and that took his momentum away. They're not carrying a lot of horsepower, it's mostly momentum.
"He did everything he could and raced superbly all week. He was basically the measuring stick from what I could see, and came through with an absolutely tremendous result to be third by less than a tenth of a second."
Con also thanked Goulburn West Public School for its support of Costa, without which he could not have travelled to Italy and pursued his dream.
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