Filming for the new series of Top Gear is already upon us, and already, cricket legend Freddie Flintoff has been involved in a high speed incident.
At the same location where Hammond suffered his almost-fatal accident in the powerful dragster, York’s Elvington Airfield, Flintoff’s incident “could easily have had a similar outcome”. He was driving a three-wheeled cycle car that required him to lie on his front while operating it head first.
Fellow hosts Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris watched on as Flintoff over-shot the end of the runway during a timed performance and span the vehicle.
Onlooker David Robinson, 57, told The Sun: “He was going flat out. Then there was an almighty bang. Dust was flying everywhere and everyone raced over.”
The initial plan was for him to accelerate for a mile down the airfield, but sources said those in charge told him to extend this run to 1.4 miles in order to reach higher speeds, those speeds being around 120mph.
Trevor Duckworth, owner of what he calls the Time Bandit Trike, said
“Freddie asked me how fast it would go. I said about 120mph and he hit 124mph so he was on the button.
“He just hasn’t braked correctly.”
Flintoff was checked over by medics on location and it ruled that the outcome could have been much worse than it was. Freddie said: “I’m absolutely fine and have been back filming. 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.”
As you can see from the photos, he was wearing a full helmet and motorcycle leathers. 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.”
As you can see from his Instagram post earlier today, he’s perfectly fine and back in the gym. Freddie seems to be one hell of a tough guy.