Sakhir, Race 2: Evans sprints to Sakhir win
RUSSIAN TIME driver victorious at Bahrain International Circuit
Mitch Evans took his second win of the 2015 season in today’s sprint race at Bahrain International Circuit. From P6 on the grid, the RUSSIAN TIME ace was able to move up to the front of the field thanks to a mature drive. He crossed the finish line ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne and Alex Lynn.
When the lights went off, Lynn made a perfect start from reverse pole to lead the rest of the pack into Turn 1. Nobuharu Matsushita had a strong getaway from P7 on the grid and was able to move up to second, but he made light contact with Rio Haryanto into the first corner which sent the Japanese driver into a spin and an early retirement. Haryanto couldn’t make the turn and went wide along with Pierre Gasly. Lynn was then leading from Vandoorne (who also made a lightning start from P8) and Evans.
There was drama further down the pack as Oliver Rowland hit the back of Rene Binder’s car and got airborne. The safety car was deployed. At the re-start, Lynn remained in control and tried to build a gap whilst Evans closed in on Vandoorne and eventually passed him on lap 7. The Kiwi’s pace enabled him to reduce the gap to Lynn quickly, and after a couple of attempts, he found a way past the Briton into Turn 1 on lap 13. The DAMS driver however fought back and reclaimed his position. A lap later, Evans tried again and this time made it stick.
Once into the lead, the Russian Time ace pulled away easily. Vandoorne who had been careful on his tyres until then, put his head down and overtook Lynn for P2. Evans was 3.2s away and he maintained a comfortable gap to Vandoorne until the chequered flag: when it dropped he enjoyed a well-deserved second win this season, 1.8s ahead of Vandoorne. Lynn had to settle for third. Sergey Sirotkin finished fourth ahead of Raffaele Marciello, Jordan King, Gasly and Artem Markelov.
Heading to the final round of the season next week at Yas Marina Circuit, Vandoorne has extended his lead further with 316.5 points whilst Alexander Rossi leaves Bahrain without having added a single point to his tally of 169.5. Sirotkin has moved up to third in the standings on 139 points ahead of Rio Haryanto on 132. Evans is now fifth in the standings on 120 points.