20 Apr 2010

Ash cloud affects motor sport

7:01 pm on 20 April 2010

Formula One cars are stranded in China and this weekend's Japanese MotoGP motorcycle race has been called off as a cloud of volcanic ash clipped the wings of motorsport worldwide.

While McLaren's Chinese Grand Prix winner Jenson Button flew off on holiday to Thailand, and team mate Lewis Hamilton headed for South Africa, mechanics and media either waited or embarked on tortuous journeys home with Britain and much of northern Europe still a no-fly zone.

On the edge of Asia, nearly 100 world rally championship team staff and mechanics who had been competing in Turkey at the weekend boarded coaches for a marathon road trip back to northern England.

They have just over a week to get things ready before heading to New Zealand for the next round on May 7th to 9th.

Meanwhile MotoGP organisers say the Japan GP scheduled for this weekend will take place on October 3rd before events in Malaysia and Australia.