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Practice 2: Nothing da Matta

Rain showers during free practice at Magny-Cours today (Friday) have been as common as at Wimbledon for the tennis championships. Right at the end of the second session, Toyota's Cristiano da Matta set the fastest time, ahead of Renault's Jarno Trulli and Anthony Davidson of BAR-Honda

Da Matta lapped his Toyota in 1m15.518s, a tenth slower than Rubens Barrichello managed for Ferrari this morning. The session started damp, but dried out after half an hour, which was when most of the fastest times were set - until da Matta grabbed his moment of glory at the death.

Trulli had looked set for the fastest time at 1m16.206s, which had stood since the halfway point of the session, and then the rain began to fall again. Davidson was another to take advantage of a late lap as it dried at the end, just pipping BAR team-mate Jenson Button by a tenth for third.

Button shared his time to the thousandth of a second with Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, while Fernando Alonso rounded out the top six for Renault.

David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen gave McLaren a much-needed boost, setting the seventh and ninth fastest times in the new MP4-19B. Mark Webber split them in his Jaguar R5, which looks a competitive proposition here.

Barrichello was only 10th fastest in the second Ferrari after he topped the opening session. Olivier Panis (Toyota) and Giancarlo Fisichella (Sauber) were next up.

Juan Pablo Montoya bounced back from his scary shunt this morning with the 13th fastest time, a tenth faster than new team-mate Marc Gene. Montoya skipped the first half of the session as his Williams team fixed the damage from this morning's shunt, but the poor weather meant he didn't miss too much.

Test driver Ricardo Zonta was 15th fastest for Toyota, and suffered a high-speed off of his own when he understeered wide at the 120mph Estoril bend, but escaped with a bumpy ride through the gravel.

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