Russian Time driver Mitch Evans stormed to his second sprint race victory of the 2015 GP2 Series season in Bahrain on Sunday, battling past the incumbent GP3 and GP2 champions in the process.
Evans started the race from sixth place on the grid, but a melee at the first corner including Rio Haryanto and Nobuharu Matsushita sent a number of drivers wide and allowed the New Zealander to slip into third place.
The biggest winner from the start-line drama was Saturday victor and 2015 champion Stoffel Vandoorne, who shot from eighth to second, while pole-sitter Alex Lynn managed to retain his lead.
The race was soon neutralized following a second incident on the first lap, this time involving Oliver Rowland and Rene Binder that resulted in the safety car being deployed.
Upon the restart, Lynn managed to open up a gap to Vandoorne who was struggling to keep Evans in third back, and ultimately lost the position on lap seven.
Lynn was next on Evans’ hit-list, and after failing to make a pass stick the lap before, the Russian Time racer finally took the lead of the race on lap 14.
From there, it was simply a case of controlling the race and keeping clean at the front for Evans as his secured his second win of the year ahead of Vandoorne after the Belgian passed Lynn with six laps to go.
Sergey Sirotkin finished fourth to keep his hopes of ending the year as vice-champion alive, while Raffaele Marciello and Jordan King followed in fifth and sixth. Pierre Gasly and Artem Markelov rounded out the points.
Alexander Rossi failed to secure second place in the drivers’ championship in Bahrain, coming away from the weekend empty handed after finishing ninth on Sunday. The American managed to battle his way up the order from 18th on the grid, but could not quite squeeze into the points.
The GP2 season comes to a close in Abu Dhabi next weekend with the feature race on Saturday followed by the sprint race on Sunday.