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Schumacher and Coulthard resume battle at Magny-Cours

McLaren driver David Coulthard beat rival Michael Schumacher as the two resumed their battle for supremecy in testing at Magny-Cours on Thursday.

Scot Coulthard produced a quickest lap time of one minute and 15.996 seconds as he pipped Schumacher, of Ferrari, into second place, but the German was happy to perform a trouble-free programme.

"I am happy that the endurance run went off without any problems, even if I was not able to do a race simulation because of a few red flags," Schumacher said.

Prost's Jean Alesi, who only completed 6 laps, was third quickest with a time of one minute and 16.282 seconds as he posted a quicker time than double world champion Mika Hakkinen's Ferrari.

Rubens Barrichello, in the second Ferrari was fifth quickest, as he was followed by Benetton's Alexander Wurz, Ricardo Zonta's BAR and the Jordans of Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jarno Trulli.

In-form Giancarlo Fisichella was left off the pace in tenth despite eclipsing the performances of Eddie Irvine, of Jaguar, Mika Salo's Sauber, the second Jaguar of Johnny Herbert and the struggling BMW-Williams of Jenson Button and Ralf Schumacher.

Prost's Nick Heidfeld was three-and-a-half seconds slower than Coulthard when going 16th quickest with only BAR test driver Patrick Le Marie and Arrows' Pedro de la Rosa, who completed just four laps, slower than him.

Times from Thursday's testing at Magny-Cours:

1. David Coulthard (McLaren) One minute and 15.996 seconds

2. Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) 1:16.145

3. Jean Alesi (Prost) 1:16.282

4. Mika Hakkinen (McLaren) 1:16.473

5. Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) 1:16.689

6. Alexander Wurz (Benetton) 1:16.931

7. Ricardo Zonta (BAR) 1:17.047

8. Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Jordan) 1:17.069

9. Jarno Trulli (Jordan) 1:17.482

10. Giancarlo Fisichella (Benetton) 1:17.498

11. Eddie Irvine (Jaguar) 1:17.568

12. Mika Salo (Sauber) 1:17.606

13. Johnny Herbert (Jaguar) 1:17.754

14. Jenson Button (Williams) 1:17.764

15. Ralf Schumacher (Williams) 1:17.928

16. Nick Heidfeld (Prost) 1:18.502

17. Patrick Le Marie (BAR) 1:18.832

18. Pedro de la Rosa (Arrows) 1:20.471

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