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.

2016 GP2 Series Monaco Sprint Race start

Matsushita was promoted to pole position and took full advantage with a lights-to-flag victory in Saturday’s Sprint Race.

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 jp ART Grand Prix 30 41:59.392
2. Marvin Kirchhöfer de Carlin 30 + 13.660
3. Raffaele Marciello it RUSSIAN TIME 30 + 15.453
4. Mitch Evans nz Pertamina Campos Racing 30 + 20.894
5. Alex Lynn uk DAMS 30 + 32.560
6. Norman Nato fr Racing Engineering 30 + 33.038
7. Oliver Rowland uk MP Motorsport 30 + 33.594
8. Artem Markelov ru RUSSIAN TIME 30 + 33.874
9. Arthur Pic fr Rapax 30 + 36.777
10. Sergio Canamasas es Carlin 30 + 47.646
11. Daniel de Jong nl MP Motorsport 30 + 54.291
12. Gustav Malja* se Rapax 30 + 55.476
13. Pierre Gasly fr PREMA Racing 30 + 55.981
14. Luca Ghiotto it Trident 30 + 56.501
15. Jimmy Eriksson se Arden International 30 + 58.682
16. Jordan King* uk Racing Engineering 30 + 1:06.193
17. Nabil Jeffri my Arden International 30 + 1:17.922
18. Antonio Giovanazzi* it PREMA Racing 30 + 1:17.997
Not Classified Team / Entry Laps Result
DNF. Nicholas Latifi ca DAMS 13 Mechanical
DNF. Sergey Sirotkin ru ART Grand Prix 10 Mechanical
DNF. Sean Galeal id Pertamina Campos Racing 7 Accident
DNF. Philo Paz Armand id Trident 3 Accident

*Post-Race Penalties:

  • 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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Ahmad Shallouf

Contributing Writer at MotorsportM8