Magny-Cours test, day 3: Gene fastest for WIlliams

Williams made it three out of three by topping the time sheets for the third consecutive day of Formula 1 testing at Magny-Cours, but it was test driver Marc Gene's turn to lead the way by setting a new lap record around the French circuit

Magny-Cours test, day 3: Gene fastest for WIlliams

Ralf Schumacher was the fastest man of the last two days and elder brother Michael looked set to topple the Williams ace after completing a three-lap run on fresh tyres during the cooler morning session.

Schumacher Sr set the fastest time, but an uncharacteristic mistake put the world champion's Ferrari in the gravel on his in-lap. To make matters worse, the German's lap was then beaten in the afternoon by Gene, who was the only driver to improve as temperatures rose after lunch - a testament to the development Michelin tyres used by the Spaniard.

David Coulthard, who spent much of the final day of the test carrying out tyre work for Bridgestone, maintained his position behind Williams and Ferrari, but the Scot moved up to his highest position of the test with third place at the end of the day.

Oilivier Panis' BAR was again the highest-placed Honda-powered car in fourth, despite stopping out on the circuit after his car mysteriously came to a halt. But the Frenchman was only 0.15s ahead of Honda stablemate Jarno Trulli, who finally managed to find a suitable set-up for his Jordan to finish fifth, ahead of test driver Ricardo Zonta in the second Jordan.

Luciano Burti ended up in the gravel trap yesterday (Wednesday) and damaged his Prost's undertray, which was part of the French team's latest aerodynamic revisions. As a result the Brazilian had to resort to the older spec set-up, but nevertheless managed to finish an impressive seventh.

Rubens Barrichello also completed a tyre evaluation programme for Bridgestone and after outpacing Ferrari team mate Schumacher yesterday, the Brazilian wound up eighth today.

Jaguar Formula 3 driver Andre Lotterer took over from Eddie Irvine and did an impressive job. The young German rounded out the top 10 ahead of team regular Pedro de la Rosa in 11th.

Benetton technical director Mike Gascoyne was on hand to find out how Jenson Button had faired as the test was designed to help the young Brit get on terms with team mate Giancarlo Fisichella. Button spent the final day working on the team's power steering system, which is due to make its debut in the next few months, and finished second to last in 13th ahead of BAR tester Patrick Lemarie


Marc Gene, Williams-BMW M, 1m14.38s, 93 laps
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari B, 1m14.49, 95 laps
David Coulthard, McLaren-Mercedes B, 1m14.56s, 98 laps
Olivier Panis, BAR-Honda B, 1m14.69s, 68 laps
Jarno Trulli, Jordan-Honda B, 1m14.84s, 58 laps
Ricardo Zonta, Jordan-Honda B, 1m15.08s, 77 laps
Luciano Burti, Prost-Acer M, 1m15.12s, 74 laps
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari B, 1m15.16s, 91 laps
Jos Verstappen, Arrows-AMT B, 1m15.38s, 72 laps
Andre Lotterer, Jaguar M, 1m15.60s, 61 laps
Pedro de la Rosa, Jaguar M, 1m15.74s, 78 laps
Enrique Bernoldi, Arrows-AMT B, 1m15.87s, 91 laps
Jenson Button, Benetton-Renault M, 1m16.51s, 52 laps
Patrick Lemarie, BAR-Honda B, 1m16.62s, 54 laps
M - Michelin
B - Bridgestone

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Gene Sets New Record at Magny-Cours - Final Day
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