Not for the first time this season, there was an ART driver claiming the honours on the top step of the GP2 podium. But for once it wasn't Stoffel Vandoorne taking the spotlight at the Hungaroring but his team mate Nobuharu Matsushita who was basking in success having just taken his maiden feeder series victory.

The Honda prot?g? pulled off a perfect race from pole, launching into the lead at the start and from there proving perfectly able to fend off any ideas that his team mate might have had of ousting him from the top spot for the rest of the race. He stayed out in front all the way until the chequered flag came out to welcome him home, with Vandoorne in support to secure ART a famous 1-2 triumph to underscore the dominance of the team not just in Hungary but in the 2015 championship as a whole.

CLICK: Full GP2 Sunday morning sprint race 2 results from the Hungaroring.

Conditions for Sunday's race were significantly changed from those the drivers had experienced less than 24 hours before, the track and air temperatures significantly lower with more cloud cover and a much stronger wind blowing over the 2.722-mile, 16-turn Hungaroring as the cars made their way to the grid. Having finished in eighth position in Saturday afternoon's feature race 1, reverse grid rules meant that Matsushita now duly lined up on pole for the sprint race and was joined on the front row by Trident's Raffaele Marciello. Behind them were Racing Engineering's Jordan King and championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne in the second ART, while there was potential trouble brewing on row three given how yesterday race had ended in a final lap clash between Rio Haryanto (Campos Racing) and Sergey Sirotkin (Rapax) as they fought over the final podium position.

When the race got underway, Matsushita got the perfect launch and leapt away into turn 1, followed by his team mate Vandoorne who took advantage of a poor getaway by Marciello who had dropped to fourth behind Sirotkin. The cooler conditions soon told as many drivers including King and Saturday race winner Alex Lynn locked up their tyres and ran wide through the opening corners; Lazarus' Nathanael Berthon was among those to receive some minor damage in the jostling as he clipped his front wing on the back of Richie Stanaway's Status Grand Prix, but finally everyone was up to temperature and the breathless action settled down.

The ART pair quickly pulled away at the front, Matsushita's pace looking good but initially being matched at every turn by Vandoorne. Unable to find a way past, Vandoorne appeared to go into tyre conservation mode and toyed with trying to get the bonus points for setting the fastest lap, all of which allowed the Japanese driver to pull out a big lead while Vandoorne himself dropped back dangerously close to the clutches of Sirotkin.

The closest battle on the track was between Marciello and Haryanto for fourth place, with Gasly and King too far back to become involved. Meanwhile Lynn was finding his Saturday pace hard to recapture, and he dropped out of the pace with a nice move from Arden's Norman Nato for eighth; that put the Briton only just ahead of Sergio Canamasas, the new MP Motorsports driver having blazed a trail from the back of the grid over the opening laps but having cooked his tyres in the process and now struggling badly for grip which meant that he had no defence when Rapax's Robert Visoiu easily made a pass for tenth on lap 12.

As the race passed the halfway point of the 28-lap race, the balance of power at the front appeared to shift with Matsushita starting to come back toward Vandoorne who has stabilised a lead of a second and a half over Sirotkin, Marciello, Haryanto and Gasly. King had slightly dropped off the back of this pack, but he still had enough in hand to feel safe from any imminent threat from Nato in eighth while behind Lynn seemed to have nothing in reserve to allow him to fight his way back around the French rookie to get himself into the points.

Nato pressed on and was soon able to make an easy pass on King for the final points paying position, while Lynn ended up losing a further position which dropped him back to tenth after being successfully challenged by Visoiu. The Romanian driver was able to pick up another place on lap 20 as King's pace fell off a cliff with tyre degradation, a problem shared by his Racing Engineering team mate Alexander Rossi whose situation was already so dire that he was forced to make an unscheduled stop for a new set of tyres at the end of lap 21. He wasn't along in his plight, with Mitch Evans also forced to pit the Russian Time for a new set of boots and Marlon St?ckinger similarly obliged top visit the Status Grand Prix pit stall as well.

They were not alone in their plight, with Gasly also now dropping a stone. Having run the first 24 laps in a secure sixth place he now lost two places in quick succession to Natio and Visoiu. Gasly was able to arrest his fall and hold on to the final point on offer for eighth place, denying his DAMS team mate Lynn the consolation prize for a disappointing Sunday sprint by his standards.

At the front, Matsushita had maintained a calm and trouble-free two second lead over Vandoorne and crossed the line for a no-drama maiden GP2 victory, his calm assuredness belying his relative inexperience in the feeder series. Vandoorne seemed content if far from thrilled with second place, the McLaren test and development driver having fended off a penultimate lap feint from Sirotkin who managed to find the podium for the fourth weekend in succession.

Far back from the top three, Marciello paid for his sluggish start but was still able to contain the threat from Haryanto, although the Indonesian's fifth place is good enough to move him into second position in the the drivers championship albeit a long way off runaway points leader Vandoorne.

Having stalled at the start, Daniel de Jong became the only retiree of the race on lap 16 when he was forced to pull the MP Motorsport car over to the side of the track and park it up. Sean Gelael had a different rite of passage as the new Carlin driver found himself handed a five second penalty for exceeding track limits.

In common with F1, the GP2 Series now takes a month's summer break before returning to action on August 21-23 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for the seventh round of the 2015 championship.

See full GP2 Sunday morning sprint race 2 results from the Hungaroring.

 

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