Imola day 2: Gene fastest in old car

Marc Gene set the fastest time on the second day of testing at the Imola circuit in Italy today (Wednesday), as teams continued their preparations for the opening race of the season

Imola day 2: Gene fastest in old car

The Spaniard, driving a 2002-spec Williams, spent the day working on tyre and brake developments. He was testing a new design of brakes designed to heat up faster, in preparation for the new one-lap qualifying sessions.

"The brakes reached the temperature alright and then stayed there for a lap, so it's good," said Gene.

McLaren tester Alex Wurx was also testing new braking systems today. After running at Silverstone yesterday he was despatched to the circuit by the team because Imola is widely regarded as being one of the toughest circuits on brakes, alongside Montreal and Melbourne.

Jacques Villeneuve set the second quickest time despite completing only 17 laps, with Toyota star Cristiano da Matta setting the third quickest time. The diminutive Brazilian was running a 2002-spec car again, but found his running blighted by technical problems.

"Today we had a bit of a technical problem, i.e. the engine, so we couldn't do much running," said da Matta. "I'd like to get in the new car as soon as possible. Olivier [Panis, team-mate] has done many laps in the new car, but I'd like to do some more. Then I'll tell you if I'm ready for the season or not."

Minardi ran their new car for just the second time. However, it turned into a final check of the car for the team, which has to deliver its freight for shipping to the Australian Grand Prix to an airport in Munich tomorrow, ending its test early. The team's equipment is normally sent out from an Italian airport, which requires the freight one day later.

Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m22.918s 47*
Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda B 1m22.943s 17
Cristiano da Matta Toyota M 1m23.127s 66*
Alex Wurz McLaren-Mercedes M 1m23.533s 28*
Justin Wilson Minardi-Cosworth B 1m23.934s 24
Jos Verstappen Minardi-Cosworth B 1m26.352s 12

B = Bridgestone
M = Michelin
* denotes 2002 car

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Gene Leads the Way at Imola - Day Two

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