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Montoya underlines talent as he goes second quickest at Jerez

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA underlined his competitiveness on Wednesday after the talented Colombian set the second fastest time of the day at a rain-soaked Jerez circuit.

The BMW-Williams driver, who joins the Formula One fraternity from the US-based Champcars series, finished 0.14 seconds behind Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello as he set a impressive time of one minute and 34.81 seconds in just his second outing in the car.

"To be quickest in the wet is more that pleasing," said the reigning Champcar champion and Indy 500 winner. "It has exceeded all my expectations really.

"I got up this morning and it was raining heavily. I thought 'oh my god, this is going to be a nightmare day' because the last time I raced in the wet, I was very slow.

"But I got out, pushed hard and I was on the pace and with experience I think I will be better."

Montoya's team-mate Ralf Schumacher and test driver Marc Gene also finished fifth and 11th fastest respectively. They worked with minimal set-up, trying out new components for the car as well as working with the new Michelin tires.

David Coulthard was once again consistent for McLaren finishing third quickest having completed 35 laps around the 2.621-mile long circuit.

New McLaren test driver Alex Wurz experienced a few technical problems with his car, grinding to a halt on the circuit in the afternoon. Wurz, however, dismissed any problems.

Young Briton Jenson Button appeared to be getting to grips with his Benetton-Renault completing a total of 41 laps and finishing fourth.

Barrichello, Sauber's Nick Heidfeld and Gene all span in the wet with the lying water on the circuit, which postponed testing in the morning for an hour-and-a-half, proving problematic.

Times from Wednesday's testing:

POS DRIVER ENTRANT TIME
Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 1:34.67
Juan Pablo Montoya Williams F1 1:34.81
David Coulthard McLaren 1:34.86
Jenson Button Benetton 1:34.93
Ralf Schumacher Williams F1 1:34.99
Eddie Irvine Jaguar 1:35.01
Nick Heidfeld Sauber 1:35.29
Kimi Raikkonen Sauber 1:36.00
Luciano Burti Jaguar 1:36.16
10  Olivier Panis BAR 1:36.30
11  Marc Gene Williams F1 1:36.99
12  Darren Manning BAR 1:37.52
13  Alex Wurz McLaren 1:37.59
14  Pedro de la Rosa Arrows 1:38.21
15  Jarno Trulli Jordan 1:38.60
16  Ricardo Zonta Jordan 1:38.68
17  Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton 1:40.46

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