Alexander Rossi has led Jordan King for a Racing Engineering one-two finish at the Belgian Grand Prix Sprint Race.
Starting from the second row on the grid in third position, Rossi made a great start jumping the bogged down Lazarus of Nathanaël Berthon. He then carried on his momentum through Eau Rouge to pressure King into making a mistake at Les Combes, allowing the American to slot through for the lead.
Feature Race winner Stoffel Vandoorne also benefited from a quick start moving from eighth position into fifth on the opening lap. Despite dropping two positions at the start, Russian Time’s Mitch Evans clawed his way back from sixth to third to make his second podium appearance of the season.
Once Rossi had made his way into the lead, he quickly set about creating a gap of at least a second to prevent any DRS challenge from his teammate behind. Meanwhile Vandoorne was charging towards the front of the field, easily disposing of Julián Leal’s Carlin for fourth position.
Evans passed Leal a lap later to follow Vandoorne, then started to put serious pressure on the ART driver a couple of laps later, as Vandoorne had seemingly dropped off the pace to preserve his tyre wear.
Vandoorne quickly set about passing Berthon for third position to create a gap to Evans, then used his pace to hunt down King for second, setting a fastest lap in the process. At this point, King seemed worried by the threat of the championship leader’s pace, telling his engineer over team radio: “Tell Rossi to speed up.”
The virtual Safety Car was brought out after Arthur Pic spun his Campos into the gravel at Stavelot, briefly pausing the race.
Upon the restart, Evans was caught sleeping and fell a couple of second behind Vandoorne. Lucky for the Kiwi Vandoorne locked up heading into the final chicane and ran too deep, allowing Evans to close back the gap.
Rossi again built up a lead of over a second to help secure his first GP2 win of the season, while the final points paying positions were being finalised.
The last two laps of the race saw Evans hound Vandoorne for the final podium position, and on the final lap he made his move stick heading into Les Combes.
Artem Markelov recorded another points-paying position by finishing fifth, passing Berthon on the final lap of the race. Berthon then suffered another demotion after Sergey Sirotkin squeezed passed him on the final corner of the race.
|2015 GP2 Series Belgium – Sprint Race Final Classification (18 laps)|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|1.||Alexander Rossi||Racing Engineering||18||38:26.855|
|2.||Jordan King||Racing Engineering||18||+ 1.507|
|3.||Mitch Evans||Russian Time||18||+ 3.225|
|4.||Stoffel Vandoorne||ART Grand Prix||18||+ 4.462|
|5.||Artem Markelov||Russian Time||18||+ 11.642|
|6.||Sergey Sirotkin||Rapax||18||+ 13.573|
|7.||Nathanaël Berthon||Daiko Team Lazarus||18||+ 13.770|
|8.||Alex Lynn||DAMS||18||+ 14.383|
|9.||Sergio Canamasas||Daiko Team Lazarus||18||+ 15.147|
|10.||Rio Haryanto||Campos Racing||18||+ 18.340|
|11.||Julián Leal||Carlin||18||+ 18.954|
|12.||Raffaele Marciello||Trident||18||+ 20.281|
|13.||Richie Stanaway||Status Grand Prix||18||+ 25.418|
|14.||André Negrão||Arden International||18||+ 25.548|
|15.||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||18||+ 25.864|
|16.||Robert Vișoiu||Rapax||18||+ 27.269|
|17.||Nick Yelloly||Hilmer Motorsport||18||+ 27.986|
|18.||Gustav Malja||Trident||18||+ 29.040|
|19.||Marlon Stöckinger||Status Grand Prix||18||+ 34.546|
|20.||Norman Nato||Arden International||18||+ 36.590|
|21.||Sean Galeal||Carlin||18||+ 41.816|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|DNF.||Oliver Rowland||MP Motorsport||15||Mechanical|
|DNF.||Arthur Pic||Campos Racing||12||Spin|
|WD.||Daniël de Jong||MP Motorsport||Injured|
Images via GP2 Series Media