BIC, Al Sakhir: Stoffel Vandoorne and Bandar Alesayi were each victorious on Saturday in their respective championships being held in support of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Vandoorne picked up a pole-to-flag victory in the GP2 Series feature race, which kicked off their 2015 season. Alesayi, on the other hand, made the most of his opportunity to claim a fine victory in the first race of the final round in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.
Vandoorne took the cheqered flag in 1hr 01min 23.206secs. The ART Grand Prix ace completed the 32-lap batle with a 5.056s gap ahead of Rio Haryanto of Campos Racing, while Alexander Rossi was 5.497s completed the podium placers.
Rossi’s Racing Engineering teammate Jordan King (+12.322secs) was and Robert Visoiu (+20.048s) was fifth for Rapax. Mitch Evans of Russian Time rounded out the top six 25.543s adrift.
Only 19 of the 24 drives competing in the race finished.
Pierre Gasly of DAMS, Arthur Pic of Campos, Norman Nato of Arden and Raffaele Marciello of Trident were all not classified.
Nato and Marciello were engaged in a heated battle, which led to an incident that led to a Pic spin. Gasly was following close behind and had nowhere to go, hitting Pic and sending all four cars into the wall and out of the race.
GP2 returns for the weekend’s 23-lap Sprint Race on Sunday starting at 2.15pm.
Meanwhile, in the Porsche GT3 Cup’s first race of the final round, Alesayi won in a total race time of 21mins 53.452secs.
Alesayi finished 2.853s ahead of runner-up Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum while Fahad Algosaibi claimed third place 5.866s off from the victor.
Behind the podium finishers was Team Bahrain ace Raed Raffii (+12.910s). Teammate Shaikh Jaber bin Ali Al Khalifa finished 10th and third in the Bronze category.
Championship leader Clemens Schmid was not classified, nor was his chief title rival and defending champion Zaid Ashkanani and Charlie Frijns. Their non-classification has left the title fight down to the final race of the season Sunday, scheduled to flag off at 3.30pm and go on for 10 laps.