Nick Leone

Egozi's patience and precision leads to victory in Mini MAX

Mini MAX podium at 2018 Rotax Nationals
Koene USA's James Egozi stands proud in the center of the podium, with Diego LaRoque in second and Brent Crews in third. Photo: Cody Schindel / Canadian Karting News

Brent Crews and Diego Laroque would lead the 29 kart Mini MAX field to green with Laroque on outside pole getting the jump into turn two. Battle commenced earlier as Crews was eager to inherit back the lead as the following four corners the two exchanged position three times, on the opening lap.

The top nine had nothing between them in the first half of the race, as James Egozi put himself well into the fight with Karsten Defonce, Miguel Costa, Ryan Stanton, Nikita Johnson, Noah Baker, and Santiago Biagi following in a seven kart train for second. Egozi and Laroque would pull a six kart gap to Crews in second as the duo battled for position.

Focusing back on the train for second, dueling and fighting allowed for Jeremy Fletcher and Jack Jeffers to join in on the fight, as now anyone in the top eleven was eligible for a podium finish with six to go.

With four to go, NJMP showed us all how important the draft is around this 1.3 mile circuit, as a few drivers in the top eleven lost it, spreading out the front pack. Egozi opened up the gap to Laroque as Crews and Fletcher broke away into their own battle for third. Jeremy Fletcher impressively made his way up to fifth, chasing down Biagi and would finish there.

Egozi would take the win, with Laroque in second, and Crews in third position.