Evans leads Campos 1-2 in crazy GP2 race
2 July 2016 – Mitch Evans and Sean Gelael took advantage of early pit-stops to claim a 1-2 for Campos Racing during a crazy GP2 Feature Race at the Red Bull Ring.
Evans and Gelael started from only 10th and 18th but moved forward courtesy of their stops, profiting from the subsequent appearance of the Safety Car.
Pierre Gasly initially led the way for Prema after both he and team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi moved past pole man Sergey Sirotkin off the line.
Gasly wrestled the lead from Giovinazzi after they battled through the opening sequence of corners and built a comfortable advantage before rain arrived on lap 15 of the 40-lap race.
Unusually, the rain affected only the top part of the circuit, leaving Turn 2 and the back straight drenched, but the remainder of the track dry.
Some drivers pitted for wets, a decision which ultimately backfired, but the bulk of the leaders stayed out.
However, as the rain intensified, Gasly slid wide at Turn 3 and beached himself in the gravel, the Red Bull driver furious as he clambered from his Prema.
Gasly's stricken machine triggered the deployment of the Safety Car, handing the lead back to Giovinazzi.
Giovinazzi led away at the restart but Raffaele Marciello was on the move, as he demoted Sirotkin before overhauling his compatriot when Giovinazzi slid wide at Turn 1.
Giovinazzi responded and the pair swapped positions as the rain continued to drench the top part of the circuit.
Giovinazzi maintained a slender advantage until Marvin Kirchhöfer spun at Turn 2 and stranded his Carlin across the circuit, thus necessitating the use of the Safety Car.
This bunched the field and, when the leaders came in for their stops, Evans and Gelael moved to the front of the pack, having made their stops earlier, before Artem Markelov crashed exiting the pits.
That caused the race to be halted and, when it resumed, Evans stormed clear of Gelael, while Marciello swiftly moved into third, but was unable to make further progress.
Nonetheless, Marciello's podium moved him into the lead of the standings, as only 18 points separates the top nine drivers.
Giovinazzi's race was undone as he failed to move at the restart and retired – a similar fate also affected ART's René Binder – promoting Luca Ghiotto into a fine fourth, the Italian having run among the front group throughout the race.
Jimmy Eriksson took his best GP2 result after surging from the pit lane to fifth, courtesy of an early stop, prevailing in a frantic fight with MP Motorsport rival Oliver Rowland.
Norman Nato was seventh while Sirotkin slipped back to eighth position, as Gustav Malja and Jordan King completed the top 10.
The GP2 Sprint Race will begin on Sunday at 10:25 local time