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Valencia Day Two - Davidson leads 11 Mar 2004

Anthony Davidson (GBR) BAR Test Driver.
Australian Grand Prix, Rd 1, Albert Park, Australia, 5 March 2004

Rain storm dampens second day of testing in Spain

BAR continued their excellent testing form on Wednesday as Anthony Davidson topped the times at Valencia. However, changeable weather conditions meant the day was of limited value for the six teams present and their preparations for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

With the Spanish track wet or damp for much of the time, a small window of dry running in the afternoon produced most of the quickest times. Fastest of those was Davidson’s 1m 11.949s, the British test driver completing 72 laps in BAR’s ’04 hybrid car.

Second in the time sheets was the only race driver present, Rubens Barrichello, in the Ferrari F2004. The Brazilian put in just 18 laps, while colleague Luca Badoer managed 29 in the F2003-GA, setting the day’s seventh best time, on wet-weather tyres.

Marc Gene kicked off Williams’ three-day test, the Spaniard concentrating on aerodynamic and mechanical set-ups in preparation ahead of round two of the season at Sepang. Gene completed 88 laps, the most of any driver present, and was third fastest.

Toyota were the only team to have two cars in action, with Ricardo Zonta and Ryan Briscoe fourth and sixth respectively. Between them was the 2003 Renault R23 of Franck Montagny. The Frenchman carried out a shake-down of power steering developments and also conducted software development and some wet-weather tyre work.

"We had a problem-free day," commented Renault’s Chief Test Engineer Christian Silk. "The conditions were difficult, and Franck coped very well, conducting some useful programmes and producing consistent, quick times in the R23."

Testing continues at Valencia on Thursday, with more favourable weather conditions expected.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Valencia:
1. Anthony Davidson, BAR (Michelin), 1:11.949
2. Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:12.075
3. Marc Gene, Williams (Michelin), 1:12.097
4. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Michelin), 1:12.142
5. Franck Montagny, Renault (Michelin), 1:12.660
6. Ryan Briscoe, Toyota (Michelin), 1:12.927
7. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:22.861
8. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:22.920