Christian Fittipaldi in the #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac continued to dominant the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona rain began to fall as end of the fifth hour.
With darkness having firmly descended, Fittipaldi was largely unchallenged in the lead for most of the hour, helped by Jordan Taylor dropping back with a puncture.
Ryan Dalziel in the #2 Tequila Patron ESM Nissan held second place for most of the hour but was unable to make much impression on Fittipaldi before the pit-stops.
After the round of pit-stops Dalziel found himself jumped by Taylor in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac.
Yet soon Taylor became another victim of a right rear puncture and limped round the banking to the pits and dropping to eighth place, just off the lead lap.
This allowed Dalziel to regain second place and started to close in on Fittipaldi, ending the hour nine seconds of the lead.
Graham Rahal, in the #7 Team Penske Acura, finished the hour in third place as the new team continued to impress on their debut.
Lando Norris continued to impress in the #23 United Autosports Ligier reaching a high of second place behind Fittipaldi before pitting and ended the hour in 6th place, the best of LMP2 cars.
Lance Stroll had a steady stint in the #37 Jackie Chan Racing by Jota ORECA finishing the hour in 9th place and just off the lead lap.
In GTLM Dirk Mueller still continued to hold a commanding lead in the category as Ford Chip Ganassi finished the hour in first and second.
Frederic Makowiecki in the #911 Porsche prevented a Ford’s 1-2 by holding second place for most of the hour from the #67 Ford of Scott Dixon, but Dixon eventually prevailed towards the end of the hour.
The new BMW M8 GTE‘s continued to endure a trying race debut as they finished the hour a lap down on Mueller.
In GTD the #29 Montaplast by Land-Motorsports Audi and the #33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley continued their duel for the lead each spending some time in the lead during the hour.
But by the hour’s end Kelvin van der Linde in the #29 Audi had eked out a gap of 10 seconds over Luca Stolz in the #33 Mercedes.
Bryan Sellers in the #48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini ended the hour in third after passing Lawson Aschenbach in the #93 Michael Shank Racing Acura.
TOP 3 AFTER 5 HOURS
5 Mustang Sampling Racing – Joao Barbosa, Filipe Albuquerque, Christian Fittipaldi
2 Tequila Patron ESM – Pipo Derani, Nicolas Lapierre, Johannes Van Overbeek
7 Acura Team Penske- Graham Rahal, Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor
66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – Dirk Mueller, Joey Hand, Sebastien Bourdais
67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing- Scott Dixon, Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe
911 Porsche GT Team – Frederic Makowiecki, Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet
29 Montaplast by Land-Motorsports – Sheldon van der Linde, Kelvin van der Linde, Jeffrey Schmidt, Christopher Mies
33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley- Luca Stolz, Ben Keating, Adam Christodoulou, Jeroen Bleekemolen
48 Paul Miller Racing – Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow, Bryce Miller, Andrea Caldarelli