Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond today dismissed his second crash as "a bit of a collision".

Hammond, who was nearly killed in a 288mph crash less than a year ago, was involved in another high speed incident while filming.

The 38-year-old from Solihull skidded off the track while taking part in a 24-hour Le Mans-style race at Silverstone on Saturday, but then rejoined the race.

But today Hammond, dubbed The Hamster, said: "Reports of my shunt this weekend have been greatly exaggerated. We were competing in a 24-hour race at Silverstone in a BMW. 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 - it was what they call a ’racing incident’. 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."

He added: "Most importantly, no, Jeremy and I did not enjoy a ’comforting’ hug.

"I would rather be hugged by a threshing machine and he would rather hug a chainsaw. He called me a ***** for crashing and I told him his race suit made him look like a hot air balloon and we got back to the race. It’s as simple as that."

Hammond was left seriously ill after crashing a rocket-powered car on September 20 last year.

A BBC spokesman said: "The three presenters and The Stig were racing a car ... at Silverstone over the weekend. During the race, at night, Richard was driving and another car shunted him off the track.

"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."

Hammond and fellow presenters James May, Jeremy Clarkson and The Stig were taking turns at racing the #100,000 BMW 330 DTi Sport.