Coulthard Breaks Valencia Record with MP4/19

Just two days after BMW's Juan Pablo Montoya broke the Valencia lap record, McLaren's David Coulthard further improved the record today by six hundredths of a second, setting the fastest time of the day in the new MP4/19.

Coulthard Breaks Valencia Record with MP4/19

Just two days after BMW's Juan Pablo Montoya broke the Valencia lap record, McLaren's David Coulthard further improved the record today by six hundredths of a second, setting the fastest time of the day in the new MP4/19.

Despite the new record, Coulthard's progress was hampered today when the car stopped on track due to a mechanical error. The team's test driver, Alex Wurz, continued testing with the MP4/17D, concentrating on tyre and engine reliability testing.

Williams drivers, who dominated the previous two days of testing at the Spanish track, were second and fourth fastest today, with Montoya some two tenths of a second behind Coulthard. The team's test driver, Marc Gene, finished fifth, less than half a second behind Ralf Schumacher.

Tim Newton, Williams's Test Team Manager commented: "Another productive day covering over 850 kilometres of evaluation work contributing towards the intensive development phase ahead of the launch of the FW26. We managed some long runs today with the new engine and gearbox, as well as our usual battery of tyre work, as well as undertaking some practice starts. Our test in Valencia will conclude tomorrow with Marc conducting some wet runs for Michelin."

Renault continue to show competitive form, with Jarno Trulli again the third fastest, setting a time just four tenths slower than Coulthard's new record. The Italian focused on tyre testing, looking at a number of new constructions as well as re-checking changes that were made during the year. Renault's test driver, Franck Montagny, continued work on rear suspension modifications for 2004 as well as his work on damper characteristics, with very positive results.

"We did a significant amount of mileage, completing more laps than any of our competitors today," said Pat Symonds, Renault's Executive Director of Engineering. "The circuit appeared to get slightly slower in the afternoon, but we had a productive day even so. The developments Franck has tested have increased the car's stability, while Jarno has been very happy with the car throughout the test."

Jaguar were running Justin Wilson today, the Briton punching in the most number of laps - 124. He ended the day a couple of tenths of a second faster than Australian Mark Webber, the two Jaguar drivers closing the list, behind Toyota's test driver Ryan Briscoe.

Today's times:

Pos Driver Team-Engine Time Laps 1. Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:10.021 51 2. Montoya Williams-BMW (M) 1:10.218 57 3. Trulli Renault (M) 1:10.419 109 4. R.Schumacher Williams-BMW (M) 1:10.601 70 5. Gene Williams-BMW (M) 1:11.013 88 6. Montagny Renault (M) 1:11.035 115 7. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:11.252 95 8. Briscoe Toyota (M) 1:11.562 107 9. Wilson Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:11.866 124 10. Webber Jaguar-Cosworth (M) 1:12.133 79

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