Red Bull Ring GP2: McLaren ace Vandoorne wins another feature race

Stoffel Vandoorne claimed his fifth consecutive GP2 feature-race win, and his fourth of 2015, with a dominant performance at the Red Bull Ring

Red Bull Ring GP2: McLaren ace Vandoorne wins another feature race

The ART Grand Prix driver started from a GP2-record seventh pole position and held the lead from fast-starting Rapax driver Sergey Sirotkin.

Having begun on the super-soft Pirelli tyres, Vandoorne was among the first to make a pitstop at the end of lap seven.

A slow tyre change on the left-rear of the car meant that Sirotkin and Vandoorne's team-mate Nobuharu Matsushita, who both pitted a lap later, emerged from the pits ahead of the Belgian.

Although they were battling for a place well down the order this was a battle for the de facto race lead, with Vandoorne getting past Matsushita easily.

He then passed Sirotkin into the first corner on lap 10; but while he had won that battle he had to ensure that he was close enough to the leaders, who started on the medium-compound Pirellis and therefore ran much longer, to retake the lead when they stopped.

This boiled down to a battle with DAMS driver Alex Lynn, who had a disappointing qualifying session and started ninth on the grid.

Lynn was frustrated to lose time behind team-mate Pierre Gasly, who was struggling thanks to front-wing damage sustained at the end of the first lap.

He eventually cleared the Frenchman, but realistically the time lost did not make any difference in his battle with Vandoorne as the McLaren junior was too far ahead.

Vandoorne set some rapid laps once in clear air after clearing some of the slower cars that stayed out on the mediums, meaning that he took a commanding lead ahead of Sirotkin when Lynn and the other leaders finally pitted during the closing 12 laps of the race.

Vandoorne crossed the line 11.7 seconds ahead of Sirotkin, while Lynn had to battle his way past Racing Engineering driver Alexander Rossi and Matsushita to take third.

Lynn had emerged from the pits in third just ahead of the pair, who then motored past on the run to Turn 2.

But both had a tyre disadvantage, and Lynn passed Rossi into Turn 3 with four laps remaining and then Matsushita on the penultimate lap to secure third.

Lynn wasn't close enough to Sirotkin to challenge for second, finishing 3.5s behind.

Matsushita finished a career-best fourth ahead of Russian Time driver Artem Markelov, while Rossi, who seemed to be struggling for grip, ended up sixth ahead of Rio Haryanto.

Nick Yelloly, who had a strong race for Hilmer Motorsport, earned pole position for Sunday's sprint race with eighth place ahead of Arthur Pic and Mitch Evans.

Red Bull-backed Gasly finished 13th behind Racing Engineering's Jordan King, with Ferrari protege Raffaele Marciello running at the sharp end early on but fading to 15th.

RESULTS - 40 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 53m42.694s
2 Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 11.788s
3 Alex Lynn DAMS 15.318s
4 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 15.849s
5 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 19.420s
6 Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 21.154s
7 Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 22.583s
8 Nick Yelloly Hilmer Motorsport 26.897s
9 Arthur Pic Campos Racing 35.069s
10 Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME 38.649s
11 Robert Visoiu Rapax 42.068s
12 Jordan King Racing Engineering 42.569s
13 Pierre Gasly DAMS 44.489s
14 Julian Leal Carlin 49.600s
15 Raffaele Marciello Trident 50.336s
16 Andre Negrao Arden International 50.729s
17 Rene Binder Trident 54.619s
18 Marco Sorensen Carlin 55.933s
19 Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 59.209s
20 Norman Nato Arden International 59.505s
21 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 1m02.603s
22 Simon Trummer Hilmer Motorsport 1m15.237s
23 Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1 Lap
- Nathanael Berthon Daiko Team Lazarus Retirement
- Zoel Amberg Daiko Team Lazarus Withdrawn

SPRINT RACE GRID:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Nick Yelloly Hilmer Motorsport - -
2 Rio Haryanto Campos Racing - -
3 Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering - -
4 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME - -
5 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix - -
6 Alex Lynn DAMS - -
7 Sergey Sirotkin Rapax - -
8 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix - -
9 Arthur Pic Campos Racing - -
10 Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME - -
11 Robert Visoiu Rapax - -
12 Jordan King Racing Engineering - -
13 Pierre Gasly DAMS - -
14 Julian Leal Carlin - -
15 Raffaele Marciello Trident - -
16 Andre Negrao Arden International - -
17 Rene Binder Trident - -
18 Marco Sorensen Carlin - -
19 Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix - -
20 Norman Nato Arden International - -
21 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport - -
22 Simon Trummer Hilmer Motorsport - -
23 Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix - -
24 Nathanael Berthon Daiko Team Lazarus - -

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Red Bull Ring GP2: McLaren ace Stoffel Vandoorne takes record pole
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