Gene puts Williams on top

TEST driver Marc Gene put Williams on top of the timesheets in Magny-Cours on Thursday as he beat the lap record at the French circuit.

Spaniard Gene was quicker than title rivals Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard as he set a best lap time of one minute and 14.383 seconds to better Ralf Schumacher's which was set on Tuesday.

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher was second quickest ahead of McLaren's Coulthard with BAR's Olivier Panis marginally quicker than Jordan's Jarno Trulli and Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello.

Ricardo Zonta continued to test for Jordan and was seventh quickest, with Jos Verstappen eighth for Arrows and Pedro de le Rosa ninth as he continued to work on Canadian Grand Prix set-up.

Jenson Button continued to struggle in his Benetton as he posted the tenth fastest time of the day while Jaguar handed a rare appearance to young German Andre Lotterer, who was slowest of the day.

Enrique Bernoldi was again in action for Arrows and was 11th fastest after completing 87 laps with Prost's Luciano Burti marginally slower in 12th and BAR tester Patrick Lemarie behind him.

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