The 124-mile miraculous escape at the time of FREDDIE Flintoff during the filming of a Top Gear drag race was on the track where the former guest Richard Hammond was almost dead.
Spectators claimed that "it could easily have been a similar result" to the crash that left Hammond seriously ill with a head injury.
Freddie, 41, was driving a three-wheeled car that required him to whiz across the road – and to head – to the Elvington airfield in York.
But the crew and co-hosts Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris watched in horror as he flew over the track in his chronometer and stretched out in a cloud of dust.
Witness David Robinson, 57, told The Sun: “It was going great. Then it was an all-powerful bang. Dust flew everywhere and everyone rushed over. "
The hosts ran over a mile, but the sources said the bosses then extended it to 1.4 miles in an attempt to achieve higher speeds.
Trevor Duckworth, owner of Freddie's Time Bandit Trike, said: "Freddie asked me how fast he would go. I said about 120 miles now and hit 124 miles now, so he was on the button.
"He didn't just brake properly."
The former English cricket player Freddie – real name Andrew – was helped to get back on his feet before being checked by doctors on the spot while filming continued Tuesday.
David said he "could have been killed," adding, "He was so lucky that it wasn't worse, especially after Richard Hammond's accident. Freddie might not have gone at the same speed but he could easily have had a result similar. "
FREDDIE STRUCK OF HAMMOND MALSE
Hammond, nicknamed Hamster, was in a coma with a head injury in 2006 when his dragster stretched from the track at 288 miles now. He made a complete recovery.
Last night Freddie said: "I am very well and I went back to shooting. I do everything to make sure I do well in the Top Gear drag races but, on this occasion, I went too far a few lengths.
"It will seem more ridiculous than dangerous when you see it on TV."
A BBC source reported that checks were carried out and Freddie was wearing leather and a helmet.
A BBC spokesman said: "The health and safety of our presenters and crew is essential. As viewers will know, Freddie is often eager to get "off the beaten track". But he was not injured due to his spontaneous deviation. "
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Hammond was left in a coma for two weeks in 2006 after crashing a jet propulsion car on the same track.
His right tire blew as he tried to reach a speed record at 288 miles at the base of the RAF near York.
He was flown to a hospital in Leeds and his father later revealed that he had depression, paranoia and memory loss due to brain damage.
More to follow …
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