The top two would not have made it to the chequered flag without another visit to the pits for fuel had it not been for the late safety car and subsequent red flag at the Bathurst 12 Hours on Sunday, according to their drivers Robin Frijns and Jamie Whincup.
Frijns was part of the race winning #37 Audi Sport Team WRT squad alongside Stuart Leonard and Dries Vanthoor, but the Dutchman admitted that had the race stayed under green flag conditions until the chequered flag, they would have not been in a position to take the win.
The race was ended when Ash Walsh and John Martin crashed out at McPhillamy, with the former being taken to hospital with suspected broken ribs and a puncture lung, and it was this incident that gifted the victory to the #37 Audi.
“Jamie [Whincup] and I were saving a lot of fuel,” said Frijns. “I had a gap to [Whincup] of about three or four seconds, and I was trying to keep it. I was pushing, but I was trying to save as much fuel as I could.
“I don’t think we would have made it if it was full-on green, so we were hoping for a Safety Car. Eventually the Safety Car came.”
Whincup, who finished second in the #75 Mercedes-AMG Team SunEnergy1 line-up alongside Kenny Habul, Tristan Vautier and Raffaele Marciello, also confirmed they were short on fuel, and would have possibly needed a couple of safety cars to get to the flag without stopping.
“No, we wouldn’t have,” said Whincup, when asked whether they would have made it to the chequered flag without another stop for fuel. “But that’s motorsport. We would’ve made it with a couple of Safety Car laps.
“We were holding out – if a Safety Car came we would’ve been fine, which it did. If the Safety Car didn’t come we would’ve had to pit, and we would’ve dropped a few spots and potentially may not have been on the podium.
“But everyone had that call to make. We made the call, some days it works, some days it doesn’t. But as it turns out, we had too much fuel. We finished with too much, we should’ve gone harder and used more!”