Diego Nunes gave the Piquet GP team an impressive victory in the GP2 Asia feature race at Sepang, watched by both Nelson Piquet Sr. and Jr.
There was drama even before the start when pole man Jerome D'Ambrosio returned to the pit lane after a transmission problem with the DAMS car.
He failed to make the start, leaving Nunes effectively on pole. Alongside him James Jakes got away sluggishly, while immediately behind the Briton his team-mate Javier Villa failed to get away at all.
Miraculously everybody made it past the stranded Spaniard, although there were some close calls. From 16th Giedo Van der Garde was adjudged to have jumped the start, and the iSport man soon got a drive through for his troubles.
Helped by the trouble behind, Nunes shot into the lead at the start, and soon opened a comfortable cushion over Vitaly Petrov and Kamui Kobayashi, while Jakes soon passed Yelmer Buurman and Pastor Maldonado to get into fourth.
Petrov was clearly slow, and a frustrated Kobayashi got out of his slipstream with an early stop on lap seven. Jakes then passed Petrov for second, but by then Nunes was long gone.
Petrov and Jakes both made their pitstops before leader Nunes came in on lap 13. That put Hamad Al Fardan into lead, the iSport driver having not yet stopped, and he remained in front until a relatively late stop on lap 18.
That handed the lead back to Nunes, and he stayed safely ahead to the flag, clinching his first GP2 win.
The early stop had ensured Kobayashi stayed ahead of Jakes, but the Japanese driver soon came under pressure from the Super Nova car, but Jakes couldn't quite find an opportunity to pass.
A late stop gained Roldan Rodriguez some ground and got him up to fourth, ahead of Buurman, Petrov and Maldonado. The latter had a couple of moments during a typically scrappy race, and was pushing Petrov hard in the closing stages, while Davide Velsecchi caught them both and claimed the final point after a delay in his stop.
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Diego Nunes Piquet 1h00:46.668
2. Kamui Kobayashi DAMS + 8.361
3. James Jakes Super Nova + 9.150
4. Roldan Rodriguez Piquet + 13.874
5. Yelmer Buurman Ocean + 16.805
6. Vitaly Petrov Campos + 41.457
7. Pastor Maldonado ART + 42.007
8. Davide Valsecchi Durango + 42.381
9. Hamad Al Fardan iSport + 51.152
10. Rodolfo Gonzalez Fisichella + 53.240
11. Alvaro Parente Meritus + 54.435
12. Sakon Yamamoto ART + 59.958
13. Michael Herck DPR + 1:01.473
14. Giedo van der Garde iSport + 1:02.518
15. Fabrizio Crestani Ocean + 1:11.958
16. Giacomo Ricci DPR + 1:34.318
17. Ricardo Teixeira Trident + 1:50.428
18. Michael Dalle Stelle Durango + 1:51.455
19. Javier Villa Super Nova + 1 lap
20. Kevin Chen Fisichella + 1 lap
Driver Team Laps
Marco Bonanomi Meritus 16
Sergio Perez Campos 14
Luiz Razia Arden 10
Jerome D'Ambrosio DAMS 0
Davide Rigon Trident 0
Edoardo Mortara Arden 0