Mark Winterbottom says he has no idea if he would have been able to beat team-mate Chaz Mostert at Winton today had the race come down to pure pace.
Mostert was in control of the 200-kilometre race after a stunning first stint on the harder compound tyre, only to throw away a potential victory with a high-speed off at turn four which left him in the tyre bank.
The resulting safety car played right into Winterbottom’s hands, giving him a reasonably trouble-free run to the win.
When asked by Motorsport.com if he could have caught Mostert on-track if he’d had to, Winterbottom said he genuinely wasn’t sure.
“I’ve got no idea. He was better than me in the first stint, and then in the second stint I took a lot more fuel on, so my car was heavier,” he said.
“So I don’t know. I would have had a short fuel stop at the end, so we would have come out quite close.
“In Perth he smashed me on the soft tyre in terms of longevity, but here I feel like I had a decent run on it.
“Who knows. It’s the million dollar question. He’s doing a good job, that’s for sure.”
Victory today means Mark Winterbottom has taken over the championship lead, and will take a 12-point lead over Craig Lowndes into next month’s Darwin round.