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Montoya Sets the Pace at Jerez

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya set the pace on the second day of testing at the Jerez circuit, where high temperatures and several reds flags hit today's session

McLaren driver Montoya focussed on engine work and tyre testing ahead of the German Grand Prix next week, posting a best time of 1:16.295 to finish well ahead at the top of the times.

Montoya worked alongside Alexander Wurz, who had to replace Kimi Raikkonen after the Finn canceled his test as he felt unwell due to food poisoning.

Wurz, who caused one of the red flags, finished as fourth quickest as he worked mainly on Michelin tyre testing.

BAR-Honda's Takuma Sato was second quickest nearly half a second behind Montoya on a day where track temperatures reached well over 40 degrees. Sato did most of his work with his regular car, but the Japanese driver also tested an hybrid machine fitted with electronics to be used in the 2006 BAR.

Sato covered 11 laps with the hybrid car, while teammate Jenson Button completed 46 as BAR continued working on a revised aerodynamic package that they plan to introduce at the German Grand Prix.

Button, however, has not been very happy with the performance of the new package and BAR spent the day trying different configurations.

Brazilian Felipe Massa finished third on the timesheets despite his running being cut short after a heavy accident in the morning. The Sauber driver lost control of his car at turn five and crashed heavily against the barriers.

Massa, who had already spun moments earlier, was uninjured but Sauber were forced to spend the rest of the day working to repair the car so Jacques Villeneuve can complete the test tomorrow.

"Felipe unfortunately experienced a rear left rim failure caused by a foreign object trapped inside the suspension components," said test engineer Paul Russell. "He went off track at the entry of turn five and damaged the car in such a way that it was not possible to go on with the test today.

"It's really a shame, but it's more important that Felipe is okay. We will rebuild the car and have it ready tomorrow morning for Jacques to concentrate on the major development programme items."

Renault drivers Franck Montagny and Giancarlo Fisichella were again in charge of testing duties for the French squad, who were happy with their day despite their tyre testing programme being hindered by the many red flags.

"We had a very good day with Giancarlo, who achieved more than we had hoped this morning," said Renault's chief test engineer Christian Silk. "His work on suspension development brought us useful data, and he also looked at some set-up items for the coming races.

"Most of all, he was able to take full advantage of excellent reliability on his car. Franck suffered some problems during the afternoon, but had an effective morning working on tyre choice for the races ahead."

The Toyota team worked with both Ralf Schumacher, driving this year's car, and Olivier Panis, who continued at the wheel of the car fitted with next year's V8 engine.

The Frenchman had another poor day with the 2.4-litre unit and covered just 12 laps after the engine went in a big cloud of smoke before the lunch break.

Toyota will continue running with their V8 tomorrow, something Williams will not be able to do after losing both their BMW V8 engines in yesterday's and today's sessions.

Brazilian test driver Antonio Pizzonia covered just 22 laps before the engine failed and, with BMW not having parts to repair it, Williams will run with one car tomorrow.

Test driver Nico Rosberg was still feeling unwell and did not take to the track.

All the teams stopped working at 1pm local time to observe two minute's silence as a mark of respect for the victims of the London bombings.

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team-Engine         Tyres  Time     Laps
 1.  Montoya       McLaren-Mercedes     (M)  1:16.295  87
 2.  Sato          BAR-Honda            (M)  1:16.764  88
 3.  Massa         Sauber-Petronas      (M)  1:16.835  37
 4.  Wurz          McLaren-Mercedes     (M)  1:16.913 107
 5.  Montagny      Renault              (M)  1:17.102  83
 6.  R.Schumacher  Toyota               (M)  1:17.129  85
 7.  Button        BAR-Honda            (M)  1:17.544  46
 8.  Fisichella    Renault              (M)  1:17.664 137
 9.  Zonta         Toyota               (M)  1:18.210 124
10.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Cosworth    (M)  1:18.231 117
11.  Klien         Red Bull-Cosworth    (M)  1:18.596  61
12.  Heidfeld      Williams-BMW         (M)  1:18.841  72
13.  Pizzonia      Williams-BMW         (M)  1:21.836  22
14.  Panis         Toyota               (M)  1:23.769  12

All Timing Unofficial

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