The Jaguar driver topped the timesheets on the finish of the four-and-a-half-hour session with a 1m24.791s, leaving him simply 0.023s away from Porsche’s Antonio Felix da Costa.
The identical pair additionally topped the standings on Tuesday morning previous to a fire in the garage of battery supplier WAE (previously referred to as Williams Superior Engineering) which halted proceedings on the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Spain.
With the FIA conducting an investigation and glad with the findings, running once again resumed on Thursday at 2pm local time.
It meant the ex-AlphaTauri System 1 driver was unable to participate within the session having completed final of the runners on Tuesday morning, his first time driving Mahindra’s Gen3 machine.
Mortara completed Thursday’s session third total, simply 0.112s behind Evans, however got here to a cease twice on the identical lap earlier than recovering to the pits with over an hour left on the clock.
Robin Frijns, on his return to Envision, was the one different driver to dip under the 1m25s mark in fourth.
Picture by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images
Antonio Felix da Costa, Porsche, Porsche 99X Electrical Gen3
Porsche’s Pascal Wehrlein completed fifth with a 1m25.004s, however got here to a cease on observe within the closing minutes, which prompted a purple flag and early finish to the session.
Reigning champion Jake Dennis completed twelfth, simply over 4 tenths off the tempo, the Briton driving the automobile for the primary time as his seat was taken by nominated rookie Zane Maloney on Tuesday morning.
Given the restricted operating, most groups opted to run their full-time drivers within the session, with solely Porsche deciding to run a rookie – Gabriela Jilkova was given some observe time earlier than handing over to da Costa.
ERT drivers Dan Ticktum and Sergio Sette Camara occupied the underside of the timesheets, with the latter finishing solely eight laps on account of a battery problem which hindered the Brazilian’s operating.
Compared, probably the most laps within the session had been accomplished by Envision’s Sebastien Buemi, who hit 75 laps down in seventeenth, lower than half a second off the tempo.
Within the closing 12 minutes, Evans set a brand new session finest within the first sector earlier than backing off over the rest of the lap, leaving his 1m24.791s because the benchmark and three tenths off his finest from Tuesday.
Friday’s operating is predicted to be held between 8:30am and 6:30pm, which can imply solely half an hour could have been misplaced from the unique schedule previous to the fireplace.