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Hockenheim GP2: Mitch Evans wins series' 200th race from 15th

Mitch Evans wins Hockenheim GP2 2014

Mitch Evans won the Hockenheim GP2 Series feature race, the 200th in the championship's history, with an amazing drive from 15th on the grid in his Russian Time machine.

Evans, who struggled through practice and qualifying with front rollbar issues, elected to roll the dice by starting on the soft tyre. This gave him an early opportunity to carve his way past those ahead who started on the medium rubber.

Already up to 11th after the opening lap, he had a lucky escape when a clash with Alexander Rossi at the Spitzkehre hairpin left his car undamaged while Rossi's steering was broken. By lap five, Evans was up to ninth.

Evans then passed Stephane Richelmi, who also started on the softer tyre, and Johnny Cecotto Jr on successive laps, but crucially stayed out until lap 14 to make his mandatory pitstop - giving him a sensible stint of 24 laps on the medium tyre.

Others who started ahead of him on the soft tyre, Arthur Pic and Raffaele Marciello, were running fifth and sixth when they pitted earlier - but both of them stalled, apparently due to overheating engines. This gained Evans another two places.

Now on fresh medium rubber, Evans had to work his way through the traffic of slower cars that had started on the mediums - and also had to repass Richelmi, who had undercut him. Sergio Canamasas in particular almost ruined his cunning strategy by being obstinate.

At the front, meanwhile, ART's Stoffel Vandoorne had outdragged poleman Jolyon Palmer's DAMS car off the startline to lead the opening 25 laps. But as he rejoined from his pitstop, Evans swept past Vandoorne into the lead.

Amazingly, Vandoorne didn't realise he had to pass Evans, assuming the Russian Time car still had to stop. After dropping back by 1.5s, Vandoorne caught up again, but the advantage of the fresh soft rubber had effectively been wasted when he'd needed to strike.

The McLaren Formula 1 test driver tracked Evans to the finish, but couldn't get close enough to try a pass and finished second by 0.4s.

Palmer finished third, while a frantic scrap for fourth was won by Stefano Coletti after a crazy duel with Felipe Nasr and Johnny Cecotto Jr that was only decided in the closing laps.

Nathanael Berthon will start Sunday's reversed-grid sprint race from pole after finishing eighth.

Results - 38 laps:

Pos  Driver               Team                  Time/Gap
 1.  Mitch Evans          Russian Time        58m15.099s
 2.  Stoffel Vandoorne    ART                    +0.414s
 3.  Jolyon Palmer        DAMS                   +2.755s
 4.  Stefano Coletti      Racing Engineering    +20.191s
 5.  Felipe Nasr          Carlin                +20.687s
 6.  Simon Trummer        Rapax                 +23.432s
 7.  Johnny Cecotto       Trident               +30.583s
 8.  Nathanael Berthon    Lazarus               +33.160s
 9.  Marco Sorensen       MP                    +35.879s
10.  Stephane Richelmi    DAMS                  +36.857s
11.  Rene Binder          Arden                 +37.111s
12.  Tom Dillmann         Caterham              +38.081s
13.  Takuya Izawa         ART                   +43.096s
14.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs  Rapax                 +47.572s
15.  Sergio Canamasas     Trident               +49.996s
16.  Julian Leal          Carlin                +58.217s
17.  Raffaele Marciello   Racing Engineering  +1m02.333s
18.  Andre Negrao         Arden               +1m04.818s
19.  Arthur Pic           Campos              +1m05.181s
20.  Daniel Abt           Hilmer              +1m09.082s
21.  Conor Daly           Lazarus             +1m09.244s


     Rio Haryanto         Caterham               37 laps
     Jon Lancaster        Hilmer                 24 laps
     Daniel de Jong       MP                     12 laps
     Alexander Rossi      Campos                  5 laps
     Artem Markelov       Russian Time            0 laps
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