Hour five of the 12 Hours of Sebring began as hour three had started: under full-course caution. This time, it was due to Ed Brown having spun his ESM #02 HPD and left spinning his wheels as he found himself stuck on a kerb.
The lead of LMP1 was hotly-contested throughout the hour, and the two Audi R18s found themselves battling through the middle of the 60-minute period.
The Jarvis/Fassler/Treluyer #1 machine had lead at the beginning of the hour, but around 35 minutes in, Lucas di Grassi – sharing with Kristensen and McNish in the #2 – decided he would wait no longer and made a lunge on his team mate at the final corner.
The cars touched at high speed but, immediately sensing the contact, Jarvis was able to avoid a spin and allowed di Grassi through. “I didn’t think he’d make a move there,” the Briton told the TV crews, “I just turned in and he clipped the right rear. It was a close call – we’re fighting hard and anything can happen.”
The GT class stole the show during the early parts of the fifth hour, with a frenetic battle for 2nd place. Joey Hand’s #56 BMW Z4 GTE was falling into the clutches of Gianmaria Bruni’s #62 Ferrari F458 Italia, and was having to work hard to defend his position.
The battle was made even more complicated by Milner’s #4 Corvette attempting to unlap himself, attempting to pass the pair on several occasions. Bruni was defending and attacking simultaneosly, and was finally able to make his move into turn 7, passing Hand’s BMW for 2nd. He would then set about attacking the #91 Viper, being driven by Ryan Daziel, for the lead.
In LMP2, Ryan Hunter-Reay had to take a stop-go penalty for having too many crew working on the car and as a result his #552 HPD lost the lead to Cosmo’s #01 ESM machine.
In PC, the lead changed after Alex Popow in the #9 ORECA received a 60-second stop-go penalty for contact with the Greaves Motorsport which sent the #41 machine into a spin. Stefan Johansson took top spot as a result in his #8 ORECA.
In GTC, Joroen Bleekemolen continued to lead in the #22, extending the gap to 17 seconds.
2013 12 Hours of Sebring class standings after 5 hours
#2 Audi – di Grassi/Kristensen/McNish
#1 Audi – Fassler/Jarvis/Treluyer
#12 Lola – Heidfeld/Jani/Prost
#01 HPD – Brabham/Cosmo/Sharp
#552 HPD – Hunter-Reay/Pagenaud/Tucker
#551 HPD – Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe
#8 ORECA – Cumming/Johansson/Marcelli
#52 ORECA – Cheng/Guasch/Ostella
#500 ORECA – Nunez/Shears/Heinemeier Hansson
#91 SRT – Dalziel/Farnchacher/Goossens
#62 Ferrari – Beretta/Bruni/Malucelli
#17 Porsche – Henzler/Sellers/Tandy
#22 Porsche – Bleekemolen/MacNeil/von Moltke
#31 Porsche – Farnbacher/Giermaziak/Gomez
#45 Porsche – Canache Jr./Pumpelly/Wong