Round eight of the GP2 series sees the championship head to the low downforce circuit of Monza in Italy. Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne was able to take full advantage of his home Grand Prix last round in Belgium claiming pole position and the Feature Race Victory.

The mighty Monza circuit is home to Trident’s Raffaele Marciello who is yet to win a race this season and will be itching to get back onto the podium. He will have a lot of competitors however, as Arthur Pic has found form again at Campos finishing second in the Feature Race, as well as the two Russian Time drivers of Mitch Evans and Artem Markelov who both made podium appearances in Belgium.

Vandoorne, Rossi

Belgium race-winners Rossi and Vandoorne

Alexander Rossi will be looking to add another win to his tally, after securing his first win of the season in the Belgian Sprint Race. Rossi led home a Racing Engineering 1-2 ahead of teammate Jordan King to extend his lead over Rio Haryanto in the driver’s standings.

Haryanto, who had a dismal outing at Spa-Francorchamps with a poor qualifying performance as well as copping a ten second stop-and-go penalty in the Feature Race, now sits equal third in the championship alongside Sergey Sirotkin. Haryanto left Belgium with no points, his worst race weekend since Monaco.

Heading into this weekend’s event, there will be six line-up changes as drivers continue to float between teams as well as enter and exit the series.

One of the biggest changes sees GP3 driver Jann Mardenborough elevate to the GP2 Series with Carlin, replacing Sean Gelael.

Mardenborough starting his racing career playing PlayStation in the Nissan’s GT Academy. He was the 2011 winner and has raced for Nissan in the Blancpain Endurance Series, British GT and the 24 Hours of Le Mans along with many others.

Johnny Cecotto Jr. re-enters the series with his former team Trident, while Simon Trummer also makes a return with Hilmer Motorsport who will only field the one car.

René Binder will join MP Motorsport in replacement of the injured Daniel de Jong. MP Motorsport will also run a new rookie Meindert van Buuren who currently races in the Formula Renault 3.5 series.

Finally, Patric Niederhauser joins Daiko Team Lazarus in replacement of Nathanaël Berthon.

Images via GP2 Series Media

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Josh Kruse

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