The Auckland driver Mitch Evans has finished 6th in the GP2 season opener at the Bahrain grand prix ahead of Tauranga's Richie Stanaway in 15th.
Racing for Russian Time for the second year in a row, the 20 year old Evans' result was impressive considering he started the race in 13th on the grid.
In 2014, Evans finished his second GP2 season at 4th in the drivers championship after placing 13th the previous year with Arden, the team he won the GP3 championship with in 2012.
In contrast, 2015 is Stanaway's first season in GP2 after two years in GP3.
The 23 year old finished 8th last season for Status Grand Prix, who have promoted him to this year's GP2 circuit.
Stanaway started Saturday's race in 15th and was unable to improve his position unlike his team mate Marlon Stöckinger, who finished 11th after qualifying 23rd.
Evans' team mate Artem Markelov placed 13th after starting in 11th.
Race one was won by the Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne who took 2nd place in the 2014 GP2 drivers championship in just his first year in the formula.
The 2014 GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer is now a test and reserve driver for the Lotus Formula One team.
The second race of the GP2 season is at 11.15pm on Sunday (NZ time) in Bahrain.
The grid is determined by the finishing positions in race one although the top eight places are reversed meaning Evans will start from 3rd.
The GP2 season is raced over 10 grand prix weekends at most of the circuits hosting the Formula One series.
The teams have to use the same chassis, engines and tyres.
Each weekend includes a 180 kilometre feature race with one pit stop and a second 120 kilometre sprint race without stops.