McLaren Formula 1 junior Stoffel Vandoorne bagged his second GP2 victory of the season after keeping a charging Mitch Evans at arm’s length in the closing stages at Barcelona.
ART Grand Prix driver Vandoorne held the lead from pole position, although Alex Lynn did attempt to attack down the inside on the run to the first corner but failed to make the move stick, subsequently being passed around the outside by DAMS team-mate Pierre Gasly.
Vandoorne then pulled a small cushion on Gasly, before making his pitstop on lap seven having started on the soft rubber.
Gasly pitted on the same lap, with Lynn in a lap later, leaving hard-tyre starters Mitch Evans, Rossi, Rio Haryanto and Raffaele Marciello up front.
But those who pitted early were frustrated in their plans to carve through the pack thanks to the apparent loss of DRS for the whole field.
This meant that Vandoorne, Gasly and Lynn all lost more time than expected getting past drivers yet to stop.
Rossi and Evans pitted on laps 26 and 27 respectively, by which time Vandoorne had cleared the traffic and ensured he would re-emerge ahead.
With Evans losing time in his stop and then having to battle past the DAMS cars, it was Rossi who ended up running second behind Vandoorne, rapidly reeling in the Belgian and, at one stage, getting within range of the now-active again DRS.
But Vandoorne had the pace to hold on, and soon Rossi himself came under attack from the flying Evans, who passed him for second into Turn 2 on lap 36.
Vandoorne was able to keep Russian Time driver Evans at bay, eventually crossing the line 1.9 seconds clear, with Rossi holding on to third.
Haryanto, who had also started on the hards, came through to fourth place, passing Lynn late on.
Marciello finished sixth ahead of Gasly, who was shuffled backwards in the closing stages but held on to seventh ahead of Arden driver Norman Nato, who clinched reversed-grid pole position for Sunday’s sprint race.
Arthur Pic and Richie Stanaway rounded out the top 10.