American driver Alexander Rossi has done his chances of securing a seat with Haas F1 Team in 2016 a world of good by claiming his first victory in the GP2 Series in almost two years at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday.
Starting third on the grid at Spa, Rossi made a great start to move up to second at the first corner, only trailing Racing Engineering teammate Jordan King on the run up to Eau Rouge.
Rossi began to hassle King, forcing the Briton into a mistake at Les Combes that saw the leader run wide at the exit. Holding onto his line, Rossi swept past into a lead that he would not relinquish.
Championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne made a lightning getaway from eighth place on the grid, from where he started by virtue of the reverse grid following his victory on Saturday.
Vandoorne soon managed to pick his way through the order to run third behind the two Racing Engineering cars, placing pressure on King in second place, who in turn was complaining that Rossi was going too slowly up front.
A spin for Arthur Pic at Stavelot resulted in a Virtual Safety Car period, easing some of the pressure on the leaders at the front. When the race resumed, Rossi was able to eke out a bigger gap to King, who no longer had Vandoorne on his tail after the Belgian locked up at the final chicane.
After 18 laps, Rossi crossed the line to claim his first win of the 2015 season by 1.5 seconds over King as Racing Engineering claimed a dominant one-two finish. The result also marked Rossi’s first victory in GP2 since the feature race in Abu Dhabi two years ago.
Vandoorne was unable to keep Mitch Evans back in the battle for third place, leaving the championship leader to settle for fourth place at the flag. Artem Markelov finished fifth ahead of Sergey Sirotkin, who claimed sixth at the final corner after passing Nathanael Berthon. Alex Lynn finished eighth for DAMS, rounding out the points.