The former England cricketer and sports personality was racing at the astonishing speed of 124mph before losing control and crashing off the race course. The 41-year-old, whose real name is Andrew, was driving a three-wheeled cycle-car that required him to lie down on his front, head on with the road at York’s Elvington Airfield.
Camera crew and co-hosts Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris watched in horror as Freddie misjudged the runway, spinning off in a cloud of dust.
The accident came in part due to the rushed nature of the race – a time trial in which Freddie wanted to prove his worth.
A witness of the crash, David Robinson, told The Sun: “He was going flat out. Then there was an almighty bang. Dust was flying everywhere and everyone raced over.”
The hosts had initially been racing over a mile, but sources close to the show said bosses were unhappy and opted to increase the race to 1.4 miles in order to get higher speeds for the cameras.
“I go to great lengths to make sure I do well in Top Gear drag races but, on this occasion, I went a few lengths too far.
“It will look more ridiculous than dangerous when you see it on TV.”
According to the BBC, Freddie was wearing bike leathers and a crash helmet – items essential to his survival.
A BBC spokesman said: “The health and safety of our presenters and crew is paramount.
“As viewers will know, Freddie is often keen to get ‘off the beaten track’
“But, he suffered no injuries as a result of his spontaneous detour.”
For many, the crash mirrored Hammond’s to closely, with the location even being the same.
Luckily for Freddie, the dragster reached speeds nowhere near Hammond’s jet-propelled car.
It comes as a shock that the former Top Gear man’s crash was over 10 years ago.
Attempting to set a speed record, Hammond’s right tyre blew and sent him flying across the track before quickly being airlifted to a Leeds hospital.
He was left in a coma for two weeks and later revealed experiencing depression, paranoia and memory loss due to brain damage.