Justin Wilson returned to Formula One action for the first time since the Japanese Grand Prix in October, as he took over the testing reins at Valencia's Ricardo Tormo circuit from aspiring Jaguar hopefuls Townsend Bell and Christian Klien.

The 25-year old Briton racked up an impressive 130 tours of the Spanish venue as he set about taking the first steps towards retaining his seat alongside Mark Webber in the Jaguar team for 2004.

Having had to watch the Australian ply his trade alongside American Bell and Austrian Klien, Wilson had only the third and final day testing - in the first F1 session since the post-season ban ended - to begin to work on his defence, but was immediately on the pace, eventually posting a fastest lap of 1min 10.504secs towards the end of the day.

The time was the fastest recorded by a Jaguar driver over the three days and, with Webber struggling to set a competitive time on day three, created a positive impression for Wilson.

"Today has gone very well from my point of view," the former Minardi pilot admitted, "My programme was different to Mark's, but we've carried out a lot of test work today, both on electronics and endurance runs. I'm pleased to have completed so many laps on my first day back and the team have been fantastic, everything has run according to plan!"

Jaguar will return to testing in Spain next month.

 

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