Ralf Schumacher continued to pace the second day of action at Jerez de la Frontera as Williams and BMW stepped up their preparation in pursuit of the constructors' championship title at Suzuka next weekend.

The German showed that racing in America at the weekend - and suffering another off to add to that suffered in the USGP - had had no ill-effects following his shunt prior to the Italian round, completing 60 laps of the Spanish circuit and recording a best time of 1min 20.247secs right at the end of the day. The effort, which bettered those of both team-mate Marc Gene and Toyota's Ryan Briscoe, was also a full second faster than Schumacher had managed on day one of the test. Gene added another 76 laps worth of data to the team's records, achieving a personal best mark of 1min 21.531secs in the process.

As was the case on day one, both Williams drivers concentrated on tyre evaluations, with [particular attention being paid to the relative performance of Michelin's various wet weather compounds after the disappointment of Indianapolis. Schumacher started the day on the intermediate design, running the tyre in both wet and dry conditions.

In addition, both drivers completed a development programme with the FW25's launch control system, which appeared to leave Juan Montoya floundering on the grid in America last Sunday, and worked on general set-up parameters for Suzuka.

Formula Three Euroseries frontrunner Briscoe completed his second day at the wheel of the lone Toyota at Jerez, and once again split the two Williams-BMWs on the timesheet. Although his lack of experience with the TF103 meant that, as Schumacher stepped up his pace, the Australian was left trailing, he still came in narrowly ahead of Gene, with a best lap of 1min 21.306secs.

The test continues into Friday, with Ricardo Zonta replacing Briscoe and former Williams-BMW test driver Antonio Pizzonia returning to the cockpit for the first time since his exit from Jaguar, as he takes over from Schumacher in the lead FW25.

Leading times (2 October) - Jerez:

Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW 1min 20.247secs 60 lapsRyan Briscoe Toyota-Toyota 1min 21.306secs 120 lapsMarc Gene Williams-BMW 1min 21.531secs 76 laps

[all cars on Michelin tyres]

Weather / track conditions: Wet then drying

 

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