Vitaly Petrov claimed his first GP2 Asia victory by virtue of keeping his Campos Grand Prix car on the track while his rivals faltered in tricky conditions at Sepang.
Two of the main contenders were on the back foot before the race even began, as front row starters Romain Grosjean and Karun Chadhok stalled on the grid and dummy grid respectively.
There was further chaos on the opening lap as rain fell just as the field headed into turn four. New leader Bruno Senna hit the damp patch first and sailed off, while carnage occurred behind as the drivers fought to avoid spinning cars in front of them. With the gravel traps close to bursting point the red flag was thrown.
When the race finally restarted behind the safety car, Adrian Valles made a perfect restart, and the FMS driver and Arden's Sebastien Buemi soon pulled clear of the chasing pack, which was headed by Super Nova's revitalised Fairuz Fauzy.
Back in the pack, Senna and Grosjean were on the move. Senna had just recorded the fastest lap of the race when he spun into retirement at the first corner, but Grosjean was totally in control and was soon in the hunt for points.
With the lead pair clear, the best battle was for third where Fauzy held off Trident's Ho-Ping Tung and Petrov. Tung spun his way out of contention, but when Petrov finally worked his way into third, Super Nova called Fauzy in for slicks.
It was a difficult call, and Fairuz initially struggled to get heat into his tyres. A half-spin at the final hairpin showed how damp the track still was. But once his times dropped, so the leaders headed in.
Arden brought Buemi in a lap before Valles, and it almost worked. The Red Bull driver was right on Valles's tail as the erstwhile leader rejoined. He looked to have a run, but Valles held the inside line.
Contact was inevitable, and both drivers were out on the spot. Behind them, Petrov and Grosjean pitted together from third and fourth, but rejoined just ahead of a flying Milos Pavlovic.
On warm tyres, the BCN man had a clear performance advantage. He worked his way ahead of Grosjean through turn two, but there was minor contact, which forced Grosjean to pit for damage inspection. When Pavlovic went straight on at the next turn, Petrov was left with a clear lead.
Fauzy lost any hope of victory when he was badly held up while lapping Diego Nunes's DPR car, but he was clear of Jerome d'Ambrosio in third. Fourth was disputed right to the flag, with Durango's Davide Valsecchi winning the war with DAMS's Kamui Kobayashi.
Yelmur Buurman took sixth on his GP2 debut for Arden, while Pavlovic eventually took seventh following a late pass on Trident's Harald Schleghelmilch. Grosjean picked up a point for fastest lap and was ninth on the road. He now leads Fauzy in the standings by eight points.
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Petrov Campos Team 1h27:39.378 2. Fauzy Super Nova Racing + 6.531 3. D'ambrosio Dams + 7.725 4. Valsecchi Durango + 11.010 5. Kobayashi Dams + 11.328 6. Buurman Trust Team Arden + 15.262 7. Pavlovic BCN Competicion + 35.862 8. Schleghelmilch Trident Racing + 41.267 9. Grosjean ART Grand Prix + 51.129 10. Nunes DPR + 1 lap 11. Herck FMS International + 1 lap 12. Tahinci BCN Competicion + 1 lap 13. Puglisi Piquet Sports + 1 lap Fastest lap: Grosjean, 1:46.405 Not clasffiied:
Driver Team Laps Ebrahim DPR 26 Chandhok iSport International 26 Tung Trident Racing 23 Valles FMS International 22 Buemi Trust Team Arden 22 Bakkerud Super Nova Racing 21 Senna iSport International 5 Jelley ART Grand Prix 4 Yoshimoto Qi-Meritus Mahara 2 Filippi Qi-Meritus Mahara 0 Hanley Campos Team 0 Valerio Durango 0 Bonanomi Piquet Sports 0