The home side welcomed back skipper Joey Barton to their midfield after a three-match suspension, while DJ Campbell was handed a start in attack. Latics boss Roberto Martinez brought both Steve Gohouri and Emmerson Boyce back into his defence.
After a tense opening QPR gained the upper hand and, after Jamie Mackie had threatened a couple of times,were awarded a penalty when James McCarthy handled in the area. Heidar Helgsuon made no mistake from the spot.
On the stroke of half-time it was 2-0 when Akos Buzsaky found the net shortly after being denied by a superb save from Ali Al Habsi, curling home a fine free-kick from 25 yards out which went in off the inside of a post to leave the Wigan keeper stranded.
Rangers seemed to be well on top until when, 20 minutes into the second half, out of the blue Hugo Rodallega rifled home a superb free-kick from 25 yards out to give Wigan hope of a revival.
Eight minutes later the home side were awarded a second penalty of the afternoon, but this time Helguson was denied by Al Habsi, who was in superb form throughout the game.
However, with nine minutes to play it was game over as a quick counter-attack ended with sub Tommy Smith smashing in a magnificent effort from all of 25 yards which left even Al Habsi stranded.