Monaco GP2: Matsushita claims ART's first win of 2016

Honda protege Nobuharu Matsushita converted a reverse-grid pole position into his second GP2 win - and ART's first of 2016 - in Monaco.

Monaco GP2: Matsushita claims ART's first win of 2016
Nobuharu Matsushita, ART Grand Prix
Nobuharu Matsushita, ART Grand Prix
Marvin Kirchhofer, Carlin
Marvin Kirchhofer, Carlin
Raffaele Marciello, RUSSIAN TIME
Raffaele Marciello, RUSSIAN TIME

The Japanese driver, whose maiden win had come from pole in the Hungaroring sprint last year, again led from start to finish for a comfortable victory.

Matsushita's getaway off the line was a bit delayed, allowing Marvin Kirchhofer to draw alongside him into Ste Devote - but the Japanese driver held the inside line to exit the corner in first place.

And in virtually no time he was well up the road, the gap between Matsushita and Kirchhofer growing to three seconds during the opening laps.

With the race settling into a rhythm out front, there was a brief yellow flag disruption as Jordan King forced Philo Paz Armand into the wall at Hotel Hairpin.

Armand's stricken car was removed without the need for VSC, but one was called in shortly thereafter to recover the Dallara GP2/11 of the field's other Indonesian - Sean Gelael, who crashed at Ste Devote.

Kirchhofer gained a second back on Matsushita as the VSC was lifted, but the Honda protege picked up where he left off, taking the gap to six seconds by the halfway point.

It would grow further and further from there, Kirchhofer instead having to focus on keeping third-placed Raffaele Marciello at bay.

Having put in the fastest lap of the race for the two bonus points on lap 28, Matsushita took the chequered flag first two laps later, 13.6s in the clear.

In second, rookie Kirchhofer picked up Carlin's first GP2 podium since Felipe Nasr's runner-up finish in the 2014 GP2 finale in Abu Dhabi.

It was third place for Marciello, his first podium with Russian Time, with former RT driver Mitch Evans in fourth.

Alex Lynn held on to fifth despite struggling for pace for much of the race, with Norman Nato just four tenths off - the Frenchman taking the championship lead.

Oliver Rowland and Friday's shock winner Artem Markelov completed the points, with Arthur Pic in ninth and Sergio Canamasas in 10th, having pulled off overtaking moves on Pierre Gasly, Gustav Malja and Daniel de Jong.

Joining Gelael and Armand among the retirements were Matsushita's teammate Sergey Sirotkin, whose car crawled to a halt one-third into the race, and Nicholas Latifi, who called it a day in the pits.

Race results

ClaDriverTeamTime/Gap
1 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 41:59.392
2 Marvin Kirchhofer Carlin 13.660
3 Raffaele Marciello  Russian Time 15.453
4 Mitch Evans Pertamina Campos Racing 20.894
5 Alex Lynn DAMS 32.560
6 Norman Nato Racing Engineering 33.038
7 Oliver Rowland MP Motorsport 33.594
8 Artem Markelov Russian Time 33.874
9 Arthur Pic Rapax 36.777
10 Sergio Canamasas Carlin 47.646
11 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 54.291
12 Gustav Malja Rapax 55.476
13 Pierre Gasly Prema Powerteam 55.981
14 Luca Ghiotto Trident 56.501
15 Jimmy Eriksson Arden International 58.682
16 Jordan King Racing Engineering 1:09.193
17 Nabil Jeffri Arden International 1:17.922
18 Antonio Giovinazzi Prema Powerteam 1:17.997
Ret Philo Paz Armand Trident  
Ret Sergey Sirotkin ART Grand Prix  
Ret Nicholas Latifi DAMS  
Ret Sean Gelael Pertamina Campos Racing  

 

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Markelov and Russian Time certain Monaco win within the rules
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