Jerez day 2: Da Matta still on top

Cristiano da Matta continued to set the pace in testing at the Jerez circuit in Spain today (Thursday), topping the timesheets in his Toyota TF103 and once again demonstrating the pace of the Japense marque's new contender

Jerez day 2: Da Matta still on top

The Brazilian completed 74 laps and set a best time of 1m18.994s, over half a second quicker than the next fastest driver, McLaren tester Alex Wurz.

Marc Gene was third quickest, after spending a day completing a race simulation run for Williams, while Takuma Sato posted the slowest time of the test, and also endured a spin caused by a hydraulic problem.

Pedro de la Rosa set the fourth fastest time in his second day of testing for McLaren, and was only 0.280s slower than Wurz. This was despite the Spaniard being in considerable pain after problems with his seat yesterday.

"I had such a bad seat yesterday that it has really done damage to my back," de la Rosa told autosport.com. "I could hardly sleep last night. The team made a new seat for me today based on Alex Wurz's seat and that is much more comfortable, but the damage has been done."

Even with his back trouble, de la Rosa was highly impressed with the McLaren outfit. He said: "I've never, ever experienced this amount of grip in my life before! It's a very, very competitive car. It's a very good team, and it's so good to work with an organisation like that. At the moment it's a one-off thing and I don't know what's going to happen."

McLaren were happy with the work of the Spaniard. The outfit's test team development engineer Mark Williams told autosport.com: "He's done exactly what I expected of him. No surprise, no disappointment. Any top drivers should be able to carry out the task. He's a very nice guy and good to work with."

Cristiano da Matta Toyota M 1m18.994s 74
Alex Wurz McLaren-Mercedes M 1m19.553s 57*
Marc Gene Williams-BMW M 1m19.806s 69
Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes M 1m19.833s 56*
Takuma Sato BAR-Honda B 1m21.141s 58

B = Bridgestone
M = Michelin
* denotes 2002 car

Felipe Massa continued his test programme for Ferrari at Fiorano in Italy today. The Brazilian completed 122 laps while working on tyre testing, setting a fastest lap of 57.496s.

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Da Matta Again on Top at Jerez - Day Two

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