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.

Rossi, King - Spa

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 us Racing Engineering 18 38:26.855
2. Jordan King uk Racing Engineering 18 + 1.507
3. Mitch Evans nz Russian Time 18 + 3.225
4. Stoffel Vandoorne be ART Grand Prix 18 + 4.462
5. Artem Markelov ru Russian Time 18 + 11.642
6. Sergey Sirotkin ru Rapax 18 + 13.573
7. Nathanaël Berthon fr Daiko Team Lazarus 18 + 13.770
8. Alex Lynn uk DAMS 18 + 14.383
9. Sergio Canamasas es Daiko Team Lazarus 18 + 15.147
10. Rio Haryanto id Campos Racing 18 + 18.340
11. Julián Leal co Carlin 18 + 18.954
12. Raffaele Marciello it Trident 18 + 20.281
13. Richie Stanaway nz Status Grand Prix 18 + 25.418
14. André Negrão br Arden International 18 + 25.548
15. Nobuharu Matsushita jp ART Grand Prix 18 + 25.864
16. Robert Vișoiu ro Rapax 18 + 27.269
17. Nick Yelloly uk Hilmer Motorsport 18 + 27.986
18. Gustav Malja se Trident 18 + 29.040
19. Marlon Stöckinger ph Status Grand Prix 18 + 34.546
20. Norman Nato fr Arden International 18 + 36.590
21. Sean Galeal id Carlin 18 + 41.816
Not Classified Team / Entry Laps Result
DNF. Oliver Rowland uk MP Motorsport 15 Mechanical
DNF. Arthur Pic fr Campos Racing 12 Spin
DNF. Pierre Gasly fr DAMS 8 Mechanical
WD. Daniël de Jong nl MP Motorsport Injured

Images via GP2 Series Media

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Josh Kruse

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