New Zealand motor-racing ace Mitch Evans is contesting this weekend's round of the Toyota Racing Series at Hampton Downs before heading to Europe to start the buildup for his GP2 campaign.
Evans will join an international field for the fourth round of the TRS.
The 18-year-old is keen to get behind the wheel for a farewell appearance, seeing it as a way to thank his backers and fans as he gets set to take the next step in his meteoric career.
"During the last couple of months we have been focussed on plans to compete with the Arden team in GP2, but I have been following the Toyota Racing Series results closely," said Evans.
"It's been a fascinating and very competitive season so I'm excited to have this last minute opportunity to start my 2013 racing year here at home in Auckland.
"I have many loyal New Zealand sponsors who are backing my international racing so I am pleased to race at Hampton Downs this weekend for them - and for my Kiwi fans and supporters."
Evans will race for the Stephen Giles Motorsport team for this one-off TRS return - the same team that took Evans to back-to-back TRS titles in 2010 and 2011 and to victory in the New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild in 2011.
"It will be a big challenge stepping into a TRS car again. I haven't raced since winning the GP3 title at Monza in early September and my TRS rivals have already competed in nine races during the three rounds leading into Hampton Downs."
Evans was invited to assist Giles Motorsport to shake down the teams TRS cars for several of the international drivers at Hampton Downs in late December.
His last TRS race was at the 2012 New Zealand Grand Prix where he led convincingly until an electrical problem side-lined the car very late in the race.
Evans is fizzing at his GP2 opportunity with Arden racing after snaring the GP3 title under their banner last year.
He faces a quick learning curve in the much more powerful car with the first race of the season set for Sepang in Malaysia on March 22.
- © Fairfax NZ News