Racing Engineering’s Alexander Rossi has fought through the field from eighth on the grid to claim his second consecutive race win in the series.

The American fought hard to pass championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne for the lead, and got the job done with six laps left into Turn 1.

Mitch Evans, who started the race in 23rd after being excluded from qualifying for his tyre pressures being too low, drove a perfect, faultless race to finish in fourth position. The Russian Time driver was elevated to the final podium spot due to Norman Nato having a five-second time penalty awarded to him for speeding in the pit lane.

Pierre Gasly started the race on pole position and enjoyed a brilliant getaway from the line, as did his team-mate Alex Lynn from third who successfully challenged Vandoorne for second position through the second chicane.

Vandoorne then dropped another position to Sergey Sirotkin while Gasly created a 2.6-second lead at the conclusion of Lap 2.

Alexander Rossi, Stoffel Vandoorne and Mitch Evans

Race-winner Alexander Rossi is flanked on the Monza podium by Stoffel Vandoorne and Mitch Evans.

Rookie Meindert van Buuren brought out the safety car on the fourth lap when he lost control of his MP Motorsport through the Ascari chicane and buried it into the barrier.

Once the debris were cleared and the race restarted, Sirotkin set about hounding Lynn for second position. Vandoorne took the opportunity to pit on the sixth lap to dispose of the Medium compound tyre.

Race leader Gasly responded two laps later and made for the pits, however, ran into problems after exiting pit lane and reported that one of his tyres wasn’t fitted correctly. The Red Bull junior limped back to the pits and the team sent him out again, but after a few laps he returned to the pits as the team discovered a more terminal problem.

Gasly’s pit mishap left Sirotkin to inherit the effective lead, after passing Lynn during their pit stops on Lap 9.

Two laps later Vandoorne utilised the DRS effect and shot down the inside of Sirotkin for the lead of the race at the Turn 1 chicane. His lead was short-lived as Sirotkin delivered the same move on the Belgian a lap later.

The DAMS team suffered another blow in the race when Lynn, attempting to pass Vandoorne into Turn 1, left his braking too late and drove into the side of the effective race leader Sirotkin, eliminating the pair from the race.

Richie Stanaway was in front of the race just ahead of Artem Markelov, both drivers opting to start the race on the harder compound tyre and complete a longer run. The pair pitted on Lap 9 and managed to stay inside the top ten, finishing the race in fourth and fifth respectively.

Arthur Pic was running in third position behind Vandoorne for the majority of the race, but a worsening brake problem cursed his Campos Racing machine and was an easy target for the likes of Evans, Stanaway, Markelov and Nato. Pic finished the race in seventh place, a second ahead of Racing Engineering’s Jordan King, who will start tomorrow’s Sprint Race from reverse grid pole.

The Sprint Race, which takes place over 21 laps, will start at 10:35am local time (GMT +2) on Sunday.

2015 GP2 Series Italy – Feature Race Final Classification (30 laps)
Driver Team / Entry Laps Result
1. Alexander Rossi us Racing Engineering 30 49:32.084
2. Stoffel Vandoorne be ART Grand Prix 30 + 1.275
3. Mitch Evans nz Russian Time 30 + 15.094
4. Richie Stanaway nz Status Grand Prix 30 + 17.784
5. Artem Markelov ru Russian Time 30 + 18.198
6. Norman Nato^ fr Arden International 30 + 18.382
7. Arthur Pic fr Campos Racing 30 + 18.842
8. Jordan King uk Racing Engineering 30 + 19.862
9. Robert Vișoiu ro Rapax 30 + 22.083
10. Rene Binder at MP Motorsport 30 + 22.556
11. Sergio Canamasas es Daiko Team Lazarus 30 + 30.868
12. Julián Leal co Carlin 30 + 32.871
13. Rio Haryanto id Campos Racing 30 + 36.041
14. André Negrão br Arden International 30 + 36.166
15. Raffaele Marciello it Trident 30 + 37.170
16. Simon Trummer ch Hilmer Motorsport 30 + 37.541
17. Patric Niederhauser ch Daiko Team Lazarus 30 + 45.741
18. Johnny Cecotto Jr ve Trident 30 + 46.250
19. Jann Mardenborough uk Carlin 30 + 48.908
Not Classified Team / Entry Laps Result
DNF. Sergey Sirotkin ru Rapax 15 Collision
DNF. Alex Lynn uk DAMS 13 Collision
DNF. Pierre Gasly fr DAMS 10 Damage
DNF. Nobuharu Matsushita jp ART Grand Prix 9 Mechanical
DNF. Marlon Stöckinger ph Status Grand Prix 9 Mechanical
DNF. Meindert van Buuren nl MP Motorsport 2 Accident

^Post-race penalties:

  • Norman Nato – who was provisionally classified in third place – was awarded a five-second post-race time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
  • Alex Lynn was found guilty of causing an avoidable collision with Sergey Sirotkin and awarded a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s Sprint Race. As he will not be able to take it in full since he had to retire from the Feature Race, Lynn will start the Sprint Race from the pit lane.
  • The DAMS mechanics working on Pierre Gasly’s car after the Frenchman had retired from the race were ruled to have removed his car’s tyre valves while the car was still in parc fermé conditions. The Stewards have ruled that he will also start the Sprint Race from the pit lane.

Images via GP2 Series Media

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Josh Kruse

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