JULY 5, 2000

Irvine quickest at Silverstone test

EDDIE IRVINE silenced the critics by topping the times in his Jaguar at a wet Silverstone testing session on Wednesday.

Irvine, who has been criticized for his lack of points this season, powered around the Northamptonshire track in one minute and 26.39 seconds. His team-mate Johnny Herbert was fourth quickest with a lap time of one minute and 26.76 seconds.

Alexander Wurz was second quickest in his Benetton, despite not running in the morning due to the bad weather. In the afternoon he tested a spec engine that the team hope to use at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Benetton test driver Antonio Pizzonia tested in the morning to get a feel for the car, but an engine change for the afternoon produced hydraulic problems and the British Formula Three Championship leader did not get back on the track.

Arrows driver Jos Verstappen was third quickest, just ahead of Herbert, Sauber's Pedro Diniz and Jordan's Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who focussed on chassis set-up and aerodynamics. His team-mate Jarno Trulli will take over on Thursday.

Times after Wednesday's testing session at Silverstone:

Eddie Irvine Jaguar 1:26.39
Alexander Wurz Benetton 1:26.60
Jos Verstappen Arrows 1:26.61
Johnny Herbert Jaguar 1:26.76
Pedro Diniz Sauber 1:27.01
Heinz-Harald Frentzen Jordan 1:27.49
Jacques Villeneuve BAR 1:28.14
Antonio Pizzonia Benetton 1:28.64
Patrick Lemarie BAR 1:29.31