Vitaly Petrov claimed his second win in GP2 - and his first in the GP2 Asia Series - after coming from 17th on the grid to triumph in a chaotic wet-dry race in front of the Formula One audience at Sepang.
While the rain held off during F1 qualifying, it arrived at just the wrong moment for the GP2 runners, who had taken the start on slicks, but wished that they had wets by part way around the opening lap.
The drama, however, had begun even before the cars rolled off on their formation lap, with front row starter Karun Chandhok stalling and having to start from pit-lane. If iSport team-mate Bruno Senna thought that he had it easier with a clear road ahead of him from fourth on the grid, he was helped even further when poleman, and current points leader, Romain Grosjean made the same mistake at the start.
The Brazilian duly led into the first turn, which the field managed to negotiate safely, but should perhaps have taken note of the increasing number of raindrops on his visor for, a matter of corners later, he locked up and slithered wide, allowing Adrian Valles and Sebastien Buemi to inherit the advantage.
Behind the leading trio, however, there was mayhem as Alberto Valerio from a mid-grid start, rotated in front of the field, prompting others to either follow suit or lock up in avoidance, with the result that Ben Hanley was sent skywards as the pack converged. The Briton was out on the spot, as were the luckless Luca Filippi and Marco Bonanomi, who had been forced onto the grass and oh so nearly rolled before collecting the stranded Valerio. Hiroki Yoshimoto completed a miserable few moments for local team Qi-Meritus Mahara by incurring suspension damage that sent him limping back to the pits.
The leaders picked up the safety car at the end of the lap, but were only a short way into their second tour when the organisers decided to throw the red flag in the name of safety, allowing those remaining the chance to fit more appropriate rubber.
The race was suspended for around 25 minutes, in which time the conditions fluctuated enough to cause a little thinking up and down the grid. Most, however, plumped for wets ahead of the restart, with only a handful of optimistic souls towards the rear hoping that slicks were the way to go.
The order, however, had undergone something of a reshuffle, with Valles leading Buemi, Sentul sprint winner Fairuz Fauzy, Davide Valsecchi, Petrov, Harald Schlegelmilch, Milos Pavlovic and Jerome d'Ambrosio in the points positions, and Senna, Chandhok and Grosjean occupying twelfth, 14th and 17th as the safety car rolled off the line.
Despite the treacherous surface, all made it through the opening corner although, as usual, there were those caught napping at the restart, creating gaps between groups of cars. Valles, however, made no mistake, immediately pulling out a gap over Buemi, with Fauzy, Valsecchi and co dropping away all around the first lap back at speed.