GP2: Vandoorne extends championship lead in Spain with win and second place


MONTMELO – Stoffel Vandoorne’s exceptional start to the 2015 GP2 Series season continued at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend as the McLaren junior driver claimed another feature race win before finishing second in the sprint race on Sunday.

Vandoorne extended his record run of pole positions to six during qualifying on Friday in Spain, finishing four-tenths of a second clear of DAMS driver Alex Lynn at the top of the timesheets.

He was less dominant during the feature race on Saturday, coming under pressure from Russian Time’s Mitch Evans and Racing Engineering’s American driver Alexander Rossi in the closing stages of the race. Vandoorne managed to fend the duo off at the end to clinch his third consecutive feature race victory in GP2, having last lost on a Saturday in Russia seven months ago.

Despite starting eighth on the reverse grid for the sprint race on Sunday, Vandoorne made a superb start to move into fourth place at the end of the first lap. The Belgian soon rose to third when Raffaele Marciello spun at the end of the virtual safety car period and dropped down the field, whilst pole-sitter Norman Nato soon dropped down the order, leaving Lynn in the lead ahead of Vandoorne.

Lynn produced a fine display of defensive driving to keep Vandoorne back, doing enough to pull away in the closing stages and clinch his first victory in the GP2 Series by 2.2 seconds. Lynn and Vandoorne were joined on the podium by Pierre Gasly, who secured his first top-three finish in GP2, whilst Rossi’s strong start to the season continued with a fourth place finish.

With four races completed, Vandoorne’s lead over the rest of the field in the championship already stands at 37 points, but with the likes of Lynn, Rossi and Gasly proving their pace, he still has a long way to go to clinch this year’s GP2 crown.

The next race takes place on the streets of Monaco in two weeks’ time.