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Legge impresses on day two 24 Nov 2005

Juan Caceres (URG) tests for Minardi. Minardi Testing, Vallelunga, Rome, Italy. 22 November 2005. World ©  Patching/Sutton Juan Caceres (URG) before his test for Minardi. Minardi Testing, Vallelunga, Rome, Italy. 22 November 2005. World ©  Patching/Sutton Katherine Legge (GBR) prepares to test for Minardi. Minardi Testing, Vallelunga, Rome, Italy. 22 November 2005. World ©  Patching/Sutton Mechanics dust off the car of Chanoch Nissany (ISR) after he spun. Minardi Testing, Vallelunga, Rome, Italy. 21 November 2005. World ©  Patching/Sutton

After getting over her initial apprehension, British driver Katherine Legge successfully completed 27 laps at yesterday's Minardi test session at the Autodromo Vallelunga near Rome.

One of the few women to test a modern Formula One car, Legge demonstrated impressive pace and will be hoping that her performance has done enough to impress the management of the Scuderia Toro Rosso team, which takes over the
Minardi team's assets for next season.

Legge began the session on intermediate tyres but then moved onto dry tyres as the temperature rose and track conditions improved. According to Minardi, she demonstrated impressively consistent pace, with her best time of 1:21.176 around the 4.11 km track only just shy of the session best 1:21.019 set by young Uruguayan star, Juan Caceres after running for 10 laps.

"First of all, I want to say thank you to Paul Stoddart and all the guys at Minardi for their unstinting support over the last two days. It has been a fantastic experience, and they have been just absolutely great the whole time," said Legge, "As for the test, I expected the unexpected, and that's what I got. It was certainly a lot easier today than yesterday, mainly because I was left alone to focus on what I had to do. I did the best job I could, and bearing in mind my relative lack of experience, I'm very pleased with the result. The trouble is, I can't wait to get back in an F1 car again now!"

Minardi test driver Chanoch Nissany completed 50 laps with a best time of 1:24.65 "It's definitely been a good day," he said, "I was able to improve a lot in the course of the morning and afternoon sessions, and the track was in good
condition for most of the day. I have had the honour to drive at Minardi's final test, and now I look forward to taking part in the last day tomorrow, with Paul Stoddart. I feel a historic moment approaching."

Outgoing Minardi boss Paul Stoddart commented:

"On the third day of Minardi's last test, at Vallelunga, it was pleasing to see Katherine complete her test and set one of the fastest times of the past three days, proving that she's definitely got what it takes to be a Formula One driver. Chanoch Nissany, our regular tester, steadily improved throughout the day, and young charger, Juan Caceres, also completed his test with some very impressive times. At the same time, the F1x2 programme provided a group of 30 lucky passengers with the experience of a lifetime, Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher handling the driving duties today. We now look forward to a slightly bittersweet day tomorrow, when Minardi will complete its final outing."