ART GP wrap up Title as Vandoorne wins again


Having taken the lead at the first corner, Stoffel Vandoorne went on to win the second GP2 Series Feature Race of the year around the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain.

Second placed Nobuharu Matsushita rounded out an ART 1-2, allowing them to clinch the teams title with three races of the season remaining.

It had been Pierre Gasly who would start ahead of Vandoorne, but a slow getaway from the Red Bull backed driver quickly saw him drop down to second as he came under pressure from behind. Vandoorne meanwhile used the free air to build up a two second gap after only three laps.

Gasly proved nothing but an obstacle in the opening portion of the race as he was soon passed by third placed Raffaele Marciello. Unfortunately for the Italian, he too could do nothing about the pace of Vandoorne, eventually falling to 12 seconds behind by the time he made his pit stop.

Vandoorne left the pits after a clean pit stop, only dropping one position having managed his tyres longer than almost any other driver. Having pitted quite early in the race, Nathanael Berthon looked on course for a good finish, but despite briefly taking the lead, soon fell back later in the race, out of the points.

Arthur Pic had been the first of the points scoring drivers to enter the pits. He came out behind two drivers who’d pitted early, however; like Berthon dropped out of the points battle.

A poor pitstop from both Gasly and Marciello saw Mitch Evans eventually promoted to second in front of Nobuharu Matsushita. To win the championship, the Japanese driver didn’t need to make the move, however; a better set up from the ART car allowed Matsushita to collect his third podium of the year.

The battle for fourth also intensified in the closing laps as Marciello finally got past the ever consistent Sergey Sirotkin. Behind them, Gasly and the Indonesian of Rio Haryanto collected sixth and seventh respectively.

The battle for the reverse grid pole heated up in the final laps as the recovering Jordan King pressured Alex Lynn, with little success. King had started in fifth, but a poor first lap had seen him drop outside the top ten. Pic took the final point.

Alexander Rossi had a disappointing race, clashing with Evans at turn three after his pit stop and breaking his front wing, resulting in another trip to the pits, finishing in eighteenth.

Norman Nato was another to lose out after impressing during the race, suffering a puncture late in the race having run inside the top three during the race for Arden International.