Zonta Fastest in Practice 2 - Japan

Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta finished on top of the times in second practice for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix as rain affected the session at the Suzuka circuit on Friday afternoon

Zonta Fastest in Practice 2 - Japan

Overcast clouds had threatened all morning but it was not until midway through the session that the rain began to fall and made Brazilian Zonta's time of 1:30.682 untouchable.

Outgoing World Champion Michael Schumacher, who has won four of the last five races in Japan, finished second fastest for Ferrari but his lofty position may have been assisted by the rain.

Pedro de la Rosa, who had topped the morning session for McLaren, finished third fastest with Rubens Barrichello making it two Ferraris in the top four and Kimi Raikkonen, with a fresh engine after first practice, completing the top five.

Toyota race drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli finished sixth and seventh with new World Champion Fernando Alonso down in eighth place in the leading Renault car, his teammate Giancarlo Fisichella down in 14th.

Jenson Button finished ninth fastest for BAR-Honda and Mark Webber completed the top ten runners in his Williams while Juan Pablo Montoya finished a surprising 22nd in his McLaren after just five laps.

Zonta led the way in the opening 20 minutes when he put himself one-and-a-half seconds clear of closest challenger de la Rosa but Michael Schumacher cut the gap to 1.034 seconds when he moved into second place.

Red Bull Racing test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi went off track at turn 17 after 13 minutes but there was little other incident until the rain began to fall around the circuit with 20 minutes left to run.

Outgoing World Champion Schumacher was caught out by the rain, which had been predicted to fall, and went straight on across the run-off area at turn 14 with 15 minutes of the session remaining.

Pos  Driver         Team                  Time                  Laps
 1.  Zonta         Toyota            (M)  1:30.682               21
 2.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari           (B)  1:31.716  +    1.034   16
 3.  de la Rosa    McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:31.821  +    1.139   28
 4.  Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)  1:32.267  +    1.585   15
 5.  Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:32.849  +    2.167   13
 6.  R.Schumacher  Toyota            (M)  1:32.917  +    2.235   13
 7.  Trulli        Toyota            (M)  1:33.122  +    2.440   13
 8.  Alonso        Renault           (M)  1:33.259  +    2.577    7
 9.  Button        BAR-Honda         (M)  1:33.453  +    2.771   20
10.  Webber        Williams-BMW      (M)  1:33.520  +    2.838   14
11.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:33.563  +    2.881   11
12.  Pizzonia      Williams-BMW      (M)  1:33.679  +    2.997   14
13.  Sato          BAR-Honda         (M)  1:34.330  +    3.648   16
14.  Fisichella    Renault           (M)  1:34.400  +    3.718    7
15.  Massa         Sauber-Petronas   (M)  1:34.421  +    3.739   17
16.  Klien         Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:34.707  +    4.025   12
17.  Yamamoto      Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:34.829  +    4.147   19
18.  Villeneuve    Sauber-Petronas   (M)  1:34.874  +    4.192   18
19.  Liuzzi        Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:34.977  +    4.295    7
20.  Doornbos      Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  1:35.150  +    4.468    8
21.  Monteiro      Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:35.388  +    4.706   12
22.  Montoya       McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:37.371  +    6.689    5
23.  Albers        Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  1:37.626  +    6.944    7
24.  Karthikeyan   Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:38.034  +    7.352    7

All timing unofficial
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