ne of New Zealand's bright young sporting prospects, Mitch Evans, was back in action this week at GP3 testing in Estoril, Portugal.
Just a couple of weeks ago Evans was defending his New Zealand Grand Prix crown at Manfeild but came unstuck while leading when his TRS car developed an electrical glitch.
While bitterly disappointed, the 17-year-old Aucklander had no time to dwell on his misfortune as he has to hop on a plane back to Europe to begin testing in preparation for his second year in GP3.
Evans races for MW Arden, a team whose principals are Formula One Red Bull driver Mark Webber and Red Bull Racing's boss Christian Horner.
Evans, a graduate of the Toyota Racing Series (he won both the New Zealand Grand Prix and the championship in 2010-11) started his first GP3 season with a hiss and roar setting the fastest time in qualifying, finishing in the top three and eventually winning his first race.
His early season consistency saw him lead the championship at one stage before settling into second at mid-season before running out of favour with the mechanical gods to end the season ninth.
He has put all that behind him and looks on it as a learning curve towards his ultimate goal of a seat in Formula One.
He is focused on getting up to speed in his GP3 car.
"The first day we got into really quickly and the car was good and everything came together really well," Evan told the Weekend Herald from Estoril.
"We were very, very competitive throughout the whole day [finished day one second fastest]. We were limited on tyres and that compromised our new tyre runs."
Evans only needed seven laps in the morning to go half a second faster than anyone else. He went even faster in the afternoon but was pipped in the dying minutes of the session by Swiss driver Nico Muller who was 0.014sec faster.
He began day two in the same vein being among the fastest but the afternoon didn't pan out so well when he could only manage ninth fastest.
"The second day we struggled on new tyres. We were really strong on old tyres but couldn't get the new tyres to perform.
"To be honest it's a track we struggle at. It's just the way the track is and it's not really a track our car is set up for. I'm really looking forward to Barcelona [next test session, March 12-13] where we're pretty quick.
"I'm looking forward to getting back on to a grand prix circuit and get some solid testing done. We didn't do any race test runs at Estoril because we don't race there."
Evans is not overly concerned about his times on the second day of testing in Portugal, as it was more of a hit-out to blow the cobwebs away. The car has never really gone well there and the circuit is a tricky little number.
"Everything has to be exactly bang on to go fast around there or you can easily be off the pace. It's got just about every corner you can ask for with a lot of off-camber corners. Barcelona will be much better," said Evans.
During the two Toyota Racing Series weekends Evans competed in this summer he showed he could still get the best out of a car he hadn't driven for nearly a year, winning the first race. Although the TRS car is a single seater with wings and slicks it's not a GP3 car.
"It's good to be back in a GP3 car. It's a lot faster than a Toyota with more downforce and it's more technical. In a TRS car you can be on the pace if things aren't quite right but in a GP3 car everything has to be bang on to go quick. The tracks are a lot longer out here so if you're a couple of 10ths off it soon adds up," said Evans.