Last year when he was mounting an impressive championship-winning campaign in GP3, Alex Lynn's one weak point (if such a thing existed) appeared to be a relatively lacklustre Sunday form. It's ironic then that it should be in only his second Sunday race in GP2 that the Williams F1 development driver should so confidently make his way to the top step of the podium for the first time in the GP2 Series.

CLICK: Full GP2 feature race 2 results from the Circuit de Catalunya.

Lynn didn't look to be in an especially promising position to compete for victory in the Barcelona sprint at the Circuit de Catalunya. He'd started Saturday's feature race to the front row only to lose out and drop to fifth place by the finish, which meant that under the revere grid rules for setting the Sunday grid he would now line up on the second row in fourth alongside Trident's Raffaele Marciello

Ahead of Lynn, his DAMS team mate Pierre Gasly shared the front row of the grid with pole sitter Norman Nato in the Arden. Missing from the grid line-up altogether was the feature race runner-up Mitch Evans, who should have been in seventh place but whose Russian Time car suffered an engine failure on its way from pit lane to the start. Hilmer Motorsport's Nick Yelloly was another absentee from the grid, in his case because of a penalty he'd been handed overnight for causing a collision with Marlon St?ckinger on Saturday which meant that he was now required take the start the end of the pit lane instead.

The first attempt to get the race underway was aborted when Campos Racing's Arthur Pic missed his grid spot, possibly confused by the absence of Evans. That caught out Nobuharu Matsushita who then stalled his ART which forced race control to send the field off for a second formation lap. Once refired, the Japanese driver was forced to join Yelloly in starting from the pit lane while Pic was able to continue and claim his original starting position in ninth. However the race stewards subsequently handed the Frenchman a five second time penalty for his misdemeanour.

When the lights went out for what was now a 25-lap race following the extra formation lap, the initial run down to turn 1 saw Nato retain the lead from DAMS' Alex Lynn who had taken advantage of a terrible start for his team mate Gasly and dropped from second to fifth place as a consequence. Getting better launches were Raffaele Marciello (Trident) and Saturday race winner Stoffel Vandoorne (ART) who moved ahead of Gasly into third and fourth respectively.

Moments later the race was on pause after a clash between the Andr? Negr?o (Arden) and Rene Binder which ended with Binder into the gravel and making contact with the tyre wall. His day was quite evidently done and a crane was needed to remove the stricken Trident. That gave race control the opportunity to use their new toy - the new virtual safety car system - for the first time under race conditions, allowing them to control everyone's pace without the need for an actual safety car to be scrambled.

It worked well enough until it came time for the race to resume when the sudden removal of the speed restriction seemed to catch the field out. Not only were they a ragtag bunch having failed to close-up before the restart, the sudden power applied to now-cold tyres proved a handful to control. Worst caught out was Marciello who spun out, and by the time that he got back on track he had fallen to 19th place.

Nato held on to the lead but was unable to pull away from Lynn who was all over the back of the Arden, with Vandoorne now up to third place and also ready to pounce on any chance that presented itself. The first opportunity fell to Lynn, the British driver getting a DRS-assisted jump on Nato to take the lead going into turn 1 on lap 7. Vandoorne needed no further prompting and he too was able to pass Nato next time round.

Nato's day went further down hill when a recovering Gasly also sailed past moments later to eject him from his potential podium finish. That left Nato in the clutches of Racing Engineering's Alexander Rossi and Campos Racing's Rio Haryanto who had been enjoying a spirited battle but who now temporarily break off hostilities to dispatch Nato in short order. Just when things couldn't seem to get any worse for the pole sitter, he then ran wide and bounced over the kerbs which cost him a further position to the sole remaining Russian Time car of Artem Markelov. Nato also fell prey to a wild DRS launch into turn 1 from Pic mid-race, but Nato was able to stabilise his position in eighth and subsequently had some mall measure of revenge when he given back seventh position as a result of Pic's five second penalty duly being applied post-race.

At the front of the field, Lynn was coping admirably with the constant threat of Vandoorne and the reigning GP3 champion had successfully pulled out a one second lead over the Saturday feature winner. The pair had pulled out a four second margin over Gasly who had enough to worry about with Rossi, Haryanto and Markelov all bearing down on him.

Vandoorne threw everything he could into his bid to claim his second victory of the weekend, but in the process he asked too much of his rear tyres which started to go off badly. Not only did he start to drop away from Lynn, he also began to fall into the clutches of Gasly who could smell the prospect of a DAMS 1-2 for the taking as the cars behind him became distracted with their own private scrap which saw Markelov finally get the better of Bahrain sprint winner Haryanto for fifth but out of time to do anything about catching Rossi for fourth.

With the pressure now off, all Lynn had to do was bring the DAMS home to clinch his first GP2 in in just his fourth race in the feeder series, and the 21-year-old from Essex made no mistakes as he successfully claimed the chequered flag. Vandoorne had been forced to drop back a couple of seconds from Lynn by the time he crossed the line sill comfortably ahead of third-place man Gasly, but the Belgian will still be relatively happy with a second podium this weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya which helps extend his lead in the championship standings to 37 points over Rio Haryanto and Alexander Rossi. Mitch Evans is some way back in fourth, while Lynn's win sees him move up to fifth place, while ART have a firm 35 point margin over Racing Engineering in the team standings.

Just missing out on the points on Sunday was MP Motorsports' Daniel de Jong, who finished in ninth place just ahead of a thrilling battle between Sergey Sirotkin (Sergey Sirotkin) and Jordan King (Racing Engineering) which was a dead heat on the line, electronic timing being required to award tenth place to the Russian by just 0.039s.

King had earlier survived another brush with his old sparring partner Sergio Canamasas. The pair crashed out in the Bahrain sprint race in an incident that earned Canamasas a grid penalty for his home feature race this weekend, but fortunately this time wiser heads prevailed and there was no lasting harm done and no need to involve the race officials either.

In the first weekend back for Hilmer Motorsport after being forced to miss the opening round of the 2015 GP2 season, Johnny Cecotto Jr. suffered technical problems that forced him to pull into pit lane and retire on lap 12. His rookie team mate Nick Yelloly made some progress from his compromised starting position and took the chequered flag in 14th place, a decent showing in the circumstances for the 24-year-old Englishman in what is only his second GP2 start.

The drivers will all be back in action in a fortnight for the race that is surely the crown of any motor racing championship that gets to race there - the streets of Monaco on the weekend of May 21-23.

See full GP2 feature race 2 results from the Circuit de Catalunya, and current championship standings.


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