GP2: Matsushita claims maiden victory in Hungary

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Nobuharu Matsushita claimed his maiden victory in the GP2 Series on Sunday by going lights-to-flag to win the sprint race in Hungary.

Starting from pole position, Matsushita controlled the race from the front to lead home ART Grand Prix teammate and championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne by 1.9 seconds.

Vandoorne made up for his difficult feature race on Saturday by jumping Raffaele Marciello for second place off the line, and was followed through by Sergey Sirotkin who remained on the Belgian’s tail for much of the race.

Tire management was a key concern for all of the drivers out on track, but Matsushita was able to keep his Pirellis in check and slowly eke out a lead over Vandoorne before crossing the line to claim his first win in GP2.

“The car was just amazing from the beginning until the end,” Matsushita said. “On Friday, I made a big mistake in qualifying. I had a flat stop so I couldn’t attack. That’s why I qualified P21.

“It was my worst qualifying result of the year. But yesterday, I made a great recovery and today I could start from P1.

“The car was just amazing. I made a good start and after that I only had to control everything until the end.”

The Honda-backed Japanese youngster only made his GP2 debut at the beginning of the season, but has proved to be a useful teammate to Vandoorne in his title bid.

Despite finishing second, Vandoorne extended his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship to 85 points as Alexander Rossi failed to score once again, dropping down to third in the standings behind Rio Haryanto.

Like F1, GP2 now embarks on its summer break, and will return in support of the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August.

Photo gallery: IndyCar iRacing at Barber Motorsports Park

Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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VIRTUAL LEEDS, Ala. — The second round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge was held on a picturesque Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park, which looked as pristine in a simulation as in real life.

Scott McLaughlin won over Will Power by 0.4241 seconds, leading a 1-2 sweep by Team Penske in a wild 45-lap race. Sage Karam started on pole and led the first 24 laps in pursuit of his second consecutive victory, but he was out by Lap 29 after multiple on-track incidents.

Even though the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is keeping cars off the track in the real world, there still some beauty to be found in iRacing.

WINNER: Scott McLaughlin holds off teammate Will Power

WHAT DRIVERS SAID: Postrace reactions on social media

RESULTS: Where everyone finished at virtual Barber Motorsports Park

Courtesy of Getty Images’ Chris Graythen, here are a collection of screenshots from around the rolling hills and sweeping vistas of the 17-turn, 2.38-mile road course that features some interesting sculptures:

Alexander Rossi, who finished 22nd in his No. 27 Dallara-Honda, races alongside the No. 55 Chevrolet of Alex Palou (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

 

The No. 6 Chevy of Robert Wickens, who was eighth in his return to competition Saturday, makes a climb at Barber Motorsports Park, whose famous spider structures lurk in the background (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Graham Rahal, who finished 14th despite his lack of iRacing experience, races next to a thicket of trees at Barber Motorsports Park (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

A sweeping overhead shot of Barber Motorsports Park during Saturday’s IndyCar iRacing Challenge (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Kyle Kirkwood (top) and Colton Herta race their Andretti Autosport Hondas down the frontstretch at Barber Motorsports Park (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

James Hinchcliffe, whose Dallara-Honda thankfullly started this week, placed 17th at Barber (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

 

Defending series champion Josef Newgarden was sporting a nice shade of baby blue on his No. 1 Dallara-Chevrolet in finishing ninth (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Watkins Glen winner Sage Karam led the first 24 laps before falling behind in the pits and then falling out after contact from multiple incidents (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Five-time series champion Scott Dixon’s No. 9 Dallara-Honda made its IndyCar iRacing Challenge debut, finishing 16th (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Scott McLaughlin briefly goes off course while leading the field in a winning drive from his home in Brisbane, Australia (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

Oliver Askew, who spent more than a dozen hours practicing on a simulation with his Arrow McLaren SP engineers, started ninth and finished 15th at Barber Motorsports Park (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

 

It was another tough iRacing outing for 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan, who said he struggled with pitting glitches in a 26th-place finish (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

 

Barber Motorsports Park is known for its collection of large steel structures featuring overgrown animals and insects, such as this spider keeping watch over Saturday’s race (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).