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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 September 2007, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Top Gear host has another crash
Richard Hammond
Hammond suffered serious brain injuries in last year's crash
Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond was involved in another car accident at the weekend - less than a year after nearly losing his life in a 288mph crash.

The 37-year-old skidded off the track during a 24-hour Le Mans-style race at Silverstone on Saturday, the BBC said.

The host was not injured and continued the race once his vehicle - a BMW 330 DTi Sport - was repaired.

Hammond has downplayed the incident, dismissing his second crash in 12 months as "a bit of a collision".

"Reports of my shunt this weekend have been greatly exaggerated," he continued.

Jeremy and I did not enjoy a 'comforting' hug. I would rather be hugged by a threshing machine
Richard Hammond
"During one of my driving stints, a much faster car tried to overtake and there was a bit of a collision. It was nobody's fault.

"I managed to limp the car to the side of the track and wait for a truck to take me back to the pits, where it was quickly fixed."

Hammond and fellow presenters James May, Jeremy Clarkson and masked driver "The Stig" had been taking turns at racing the 100,000 car.

"During the race, at night, Richard was driving and another car shunted him off the track," said the BBC's spokesman.

"Richard wasn't hurt at all but the car was damaged. It was taken back to the pits and repaired before Richard carried on with the race."

Complete recovery

Hammond also denied reports that Clarkson had given him "a 'comforting' hug".

"I would rather be hugged by a threshing machine and he would rather hug a chainsaw," he joked.

Jeremy Clarkson and James May
He was sharing the driving with his co-hosts Clarkson and May
Last September Hammond crashed while driving a jet-powered car at speeds up to 300mph at Elvington airfield, near York.

He was airlifted to hospital where he was treated for swelling to the brain and bruising, but eventually made a complete recovery.

The Health and Safety Executive identified failings by the BBC over the crash but found no grounds for prosecution.

Hammond has since taken part in another high-speed stunt for the BBC show, driving a Bugatti Veyron as it raced a Typhoon fighter jet at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.

A BBC spokesman said this weekend's incident was not comparable to last year's accident.

The race, he said, was "a public event any amateur could enter".

"Normal safety procedures were in place," he added.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Richard Hammond's previous crash



SEE ALSO
New speed stunt for Top Gear host
09 Sep 07 |  Entertainment
BBC airs Top Gear crash footage
28 Jan 07 |  Entertainment
Hammond tells of 'lost two weeks'
21 Dec 06 |  Entertainment

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