Shaun Maloney's 94th-minute free-kick earned struggling Wigan a point and denied 10-man QPR what would have been a vital win at the bottom of the table.
Loic Remy hit the post early on but Rangers had to play for 70 minutes with 10 men after Bobby Zamora was sent off for a high challenge on Jordi Gomez.
Wigan struggled to make their extra man count and QPR thought they had won it through Remy's superb breakaway goal.
Redknapp rues 'cruellest kick'
But Maloney replied in injury time with a curling shot into the top corner.
It was a cruel climax to another frustrating day for QPR boss Harry Redknapp, who had described this game as a 'must-win' before kick-off and came within seconds of collecting what would have been an unlikely three points.
Wigan, looking a shadow of the side who had won their previous three matches, barely deserved the draw, but it means they are only in the relegation zone on goal difference, behind Sunderland.
QPR, meanwhile, remain in deep trouble, only one place below the Latics but seven points further back, and with only six games to save themselves.
QPR's Premier League run-in
13 April: Everton (a)
20 April: Stoke (h)
28 April: Reading (a)
4 May: Arsenal (h)
12 May: Newcastle (h)
19 May: Liverpool (a)
It appeared the Rangers players had responded to their manager's pre-match pledge that only victory would do against their relegation rivals as they made a bright start.
Junior Hoilett knocked down an Andros Townsend cross for Remy, who had time to shape himself on the edge of the box and fire in a dipping first-time shot that cannoned back off the post.
While Rangers were direct, the Latics were patient, but they did not look much of a threat until Zamora's untimely exit after 20 minutes.
Zamora, who was late and high when he clattered his boot into Gomez's head from a Wigan throw, disputed the decision, which came after referee Phil Dowd had a lengthy discussion with his assistant Scott Ledger, but TV replays showed the officials had little option but to dismiss him.
The extra man allowed the Latics to step up their passing game and they began to threaten at last.
Martinez praises Maloney 'magic'
QPR keeper Julio Cesar, who had injured his elbow in the warm-up, might have expected an onslaught but some determined defending meant he only had to face shots from distance.
Callum McManaman curled one effort over and drilled another narrowly wide and, when the visitors did find the target, Cesar scrambled to his left to keep out a skidding James McCarthy effort.
Wigan continued to toil in attack after the break, and it took until the 76th minute for them to force Cesar into his next save. It was a good one too, with the Brazilian keeping out James McArthur's header at point-blank range.
More pressure from the Latics followed, but it was from a free-kick on the edge of the Rangers box that the home side took the lead with five minutes to go.
Wigan's Premier League run-in
17 April: Man City (a)
20 April: West Ham (a)
27 April: Tottenham (h)
4 May: West Brom (a)
7 May: Swansea (h)
12 May: Arsenal (a)
19 May: Aston Villa (h)
Mbia surged forward after an over-elaborate set-piece was blocked and almost reached the edge of the Wigan area before finding Remy to his right, for the Frenchman to sidefoot an unstoppable first-time shot past Wigan keeper Joel Robles.
The Latics, who have climbed up the table on the back of two straight league wins after beating Everton in the FA Cup, responded by piling men forward and eventually QPR cracked.
Mbia fouled Maloney on the edge of the area and he stepped up to bend the ball through the wall and past the diving Cesar.
Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.
90:00 +3:33 Goal scored
Goal! - Shaun Maloney - QPR 1 - 1 Wigan Shaun Maloney finds the net with a brilliant goal direct from the free kick from just outside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. QPR 1-1 Wigan.
Stephane Mbia challenges Shaun Maloney unfairly and gives away a free kick.
Foul by Jose Bosingwa on Jordi Gomez, free kick awarded. Strike on goal comes in from Jordi Gomez from the free kick.
Franco Di Santo challenges Christopher Samba unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Clint Hill.
Andros Townsend restarts play with the free kick.
Substitution Jamie Mackie on for Loic Remy.
Substitution Roger Espinoza is brought on as a substitute for Maynor Figueroa.
Booking The referee shows Maynor Figueroa a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
Shot by Arouna Kone from 12 yards. Nedum Onuoha gets a block in. Foul by Maynor Figueroa on Andros Townsend, free kick awarded.
Corner taken by Jordi Gomez played to the near post, clearance by Jose Bosingwa.
Assist on the goal came from Stephane Mbia.
84:06 Goal scored
Goal! - Loic Remy - QPR 1 - 0 Wigan Loic Remy grabs a goal from just outside the box to the top left corner of the goal. QPR 1-0 Wigan.
Unfair challenge on James McCarthy by Jermaine Jenas results in a free kick. Jordi Gomez restarts play with the free kick. Maynor Figueroa takes a shot. Blocked by Clint Hill.
Booking Christopher Samba is shown a yellow card.
Shot by Arouna Kone. Clint Hill gets a block in.
Adel Taarabt crosses the ball in from the free kick.
Booking The referee books Antolin Alcaraz for dissent.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adel Taarabt by Antolin Alcaraz.
Shaun Maloney takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Nedum Onuoha.
James McArthur takes a shot. Save by Soares Julio Cesar. Jordi Gomez decides to take the corner short.
James McArthur produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area and misses left.
Shot by James McCarthy. Clint Hill gets a block in.
The ball is delivered by Emmerson Boyce, Clint Hill manages to make a clearance.
Franco Di Santo delivers the ball.
Corner taken by Adel Taarabt, save made by Joel Robles.
Andros Townsend produces a drilled left-footed shot from 35 yards. Blocked by Maynor Figueroa.
Andros Townsend produces a cross, Antolin Alcaraz makes a clearance.
Emmerson Boyce concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephane Mbia. Adel Taarabt takes the direct free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephane Mbia by Maynor Figueroa. Andros Townsend produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
Substitution Franco Di Santo comes on in place of Callum McManaman.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Scharner on Loic Remy. Jose Bosingwa crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Antolin Alcaraz.
Short corner taken by Shaun Maloney from the left by-line.
Substitution (Wigan) makes a substitution, with James McArthur coming on for Jean Beausejour.
Adel Taarabt sends in a cross, Headed effort from inside the area by Loic Remy misses to the left of the goal.
The referee blows for offside against Shaun Maloney. Indirect free kick taken by Soares Julio Cesar.
Substitution David Hoilett leaves the field to be replaced by Adel Taarabt.
Antolin Alcaraz takes the direct free kick.
Booking Loic Remy is cautioned.
Loic Remy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jordi Gomez.
David Hoilett sends in a cross, Jean Beausejour manages to make a clearance.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Paul Scharner by Loic Remy. Direct free kick taken by Antolin Alcaraz.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Hoilett by Maynor Figueroa. Free kick crossed right-footed by Jose Bosingwa from right channel, clearance by Paul Scharner.
Loic Remy challenges Maynor Figueroa unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Joel Robles.
Shot by Maynor Figueroa. Stephane Mbia gets a block in.
Short corner taken by Shaun Maloney from the right by-line.
Shot from 20 yards by Jordi Gomez. Soares Julio Cesar makes a save.
The referee gets the second half underway.
Substitution Nedum Onuoha comes on in place of Armand Traore.
45:00 +2:18 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.
Effort from the edge of the box by Jordi Gomez goes wide of the left-hand post.
Shaun Maloney takes a short corner.
Corner from the right by-line taken by Jose Bosingwa, save made by Joel Robles.
Andros Townsend crosses the ball, Emmerson Boyce makes a clearance.
Outswinging corner taken by Shaun Maloney from the right by-line.
James McCarthy has an effort at goal from 30 yards. Save by Soares Julio Cesar.
David Hoilett is caught offside. Free kick taken by Paul Scharner.
Jordi Gomez is ruled offside. Soares Julio Cesar restarts play with the free kick.
Christopher Samba is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Joel Robles.
Jose Bosingwa takes the free kick.
Booking James McCarthy is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andros Townsend by James McCarthy.
The ball is delivered by Loic Remy, clearance by Antolin Alcaraz.
Stephane Mbia fouled by Jean Beausejour, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Jose Bosingwa from right wing, clearance by Antolin Alcaraz.
The ball is sent over by David Hoilett, Antolin Alcaraz makes a clearance.
The ball is swung over by Jean Beausejour, Jose Bosingwa manages to make a clearance.
Shaun Maloney takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Jose Bosingwa makes a clearance.
Jordi Gomez fouled by Stephane Mbia, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Scharner takes the free kick.
Callum McManaman produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.
Shot by Callum McManaman from outside the box goes high over the target.
The ball is swung over by Jean Beausejour, Clint Hill makes a clearance.
Shot from 25 yards by Jordi Gomez. Save by Soares Julio Cesar.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Loic Remy. Joel Robles takes the indirect free kick.
The ball is crossed by Andros Townsend, clearance made by Paul Scharner.
Direct free kick taken by Shaun Maloney.
Dismissal Bobby Zamora is sent off by the referee.
Foul by Bobby Zamora on Jordi Gomez, free kick awarded.
Jean Beausejour takes a short corner.
The ball is crossed by David Hoilett.
Andros Townsend has an effort at goal. Blocked by Antolin Alcaraz.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Callum McManaman on Armand Traore. Clint Hill takes the free kick.
Loic Remy has an effort at goal from just outside the box hitting the post.
Callum McManaman takes a shot. Save by Soares Julio Cesar.
Maynor Figueroa concedes a free kick for a foul on Loic Remy. Free kick crossed right-footed by Jose Bosingwa from right channel.
Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Jean Beausejour, Clint Hill makes a clearance.
Andros Townsend sends in a cross, save by Joel Robles.
Emmerson Boyce fouled by Stephane Mbia, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Paul Scharner.
The ball is crossed by Andros Townsend, comfortable save by Joel Robles.
Foul by James McCarthy on Stephane Mbia, free kick awarded. Jermaine Jenas takes the free kick.
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