ART Grand Prix’s Nobuharu Matsushita has become the fourth different winner from four races so far in the 2016 GP2 Series season after claiming a comfortable victory in Saturday’s Sprint Race at Monaco.
The McLaren development driver started from pole on the reversed grid and managed to fend off a fast-starting Marvin Kirchhöfer into St. Devote. Once clear, he eased away and never looked back, finishing the race 13.6 seconds ahead of the Carlin Driver.
This was Matsushita’s second victory in GP2 Series overall – his first came with a lights-to-flag run from pole in the Sprint Race at Hungary last year – while teammate Sergey Sirotkin’s woeful weekend concluded with his car coming to a halt on Lap 11.
Kirchhöfer was able to hold off Raffaele Marciello on his way to second, claiming his first GP2 Series podium and the Carlin team’s first since 2014.
Marciello was followed home by Mitch Evans in fourth for Campos Racing, with Alex Lynn in fifth in the DAMS.
With the top-five finishers crossing the line in the order the started the 30-lap race, sixth-placed Norman Nato was the only driver in the top eight to move up from his starting position after overtaking Oliver Rowland on the first lap. Friday’s Feature Race winner Artem Markelov finished in eighth, with his attempts to get ahead of the Briton not paying off.
The race saw one Virtual Safety Car period when Campos driver Sean Gelael crashed into the barrier at St. Devote, while Jordan King received a 10-second penalty for taking out Trident’s Philo Paz Armand, forcing the Indonesian driver into the barriers at the Fairmont Hairpin.
The final race result puts Norman Nato in the lead of the Drivers’ Championship standings with 49 points, one point ahead of Markelov and a further eight ahead of Lynn. Russian Time lead the Teams’ Championship standings on 76 points ahead of Racing Engineering (65) and DAMS (61).
The third round of the 2016 GP2 Series season will be on the new Baku street circuit in Azerbaijan between June 18-19.
|2016 GP2 Series Monaco – Sprint Race Final Classification (30 laps)|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|1.||Nobuharu Matsushita||ART Grand Prix||30||41:59.392|
|2.||Marvin Kirchhöfer||Carlin||30||+ 13.660|
|3.||Raffaele Marciello||RUSSIAN TIME||30||+ 15.453|
|4.||Mitch Evans||Pertamina Campos Racing||30||+ 20.894|
|5.||Alex Lynn||DAMS||30||+ 32.560|
|6.||Norman Nato||Racing Engineering||30||+ 33.038|
|7.||Oliver Rowland||MP Motorsport||30||+ 33.594|
|8.||Artem Markelov||RUSSIAN TIME||30||+ 33.874|
|9.||Arthur Pic||Rapax||30||+ 36.777|
|10.||Sergio Canamasas||Carlin||30||+ 47.646|
|11.||Daniel de Jong||MP Motorsport||30||+ 54.291|
|12.||Gustav Malja*||Rapax||30||+ 55.476|
|13.||Pierre Gasly||PREMA Racing||30||+ 55.981|
|14.||Luca Ghiotto||Trident||30||+ 56.501|
|15.||Jimmy Eriksson||Arden International||30||+ 58.682|
|16.||Jordan King*||Racing Engineering||30||+ 1:06.193|
|17.||Nabil Jeffri||Arden International||30||+ 1:17.922|
|18.||Antonio Giovanazzi*||PREMA Racing||30||+ 1:17.997|
|Not Classified||Team / Entry||Laps||Result|
|DNF.||Sergey Sirotkin||ART Grand Prix||10||Mechanical|
|DNF.||Sean Galeal||Pertamina Campos Racing||7||Accident|
|DNF.||Philo Paz Armand||Trident||3||Accident|
- Jordan King – who was originally classified in fourteenth place – was awarded a 10-second post-race time penalty for causing avoidable contact with Philo Paz Armand on Lap 4.
Image via GP2 Series Media
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