May – ironically nicknamed Captain Slow by his pals – is said to have braked too late while travelling at 75mph and jackknifed into the wall.
The host was also said to have been helped out of his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 by paramedics, before being taken to hospital for a brain scan and X-rays.
May apparently had to abandon filming while Clarkson and Hammond continued on their Arctic Circle trip without him.
“As ever on a shoot of this scale, medical staff are waiting in the wings in case – as they did here – things go horribly wrong.
“James smashed his head quite hard in the impact, and was bloodied by it.
“He was complaining about pain in his back and neck.
“He broke at least one rib and was quite shaken by it.
“He had to abandon filming and Jeremy and Richard had to leave him in hospital and carry on with the trip.
“He was only able to join them once given the all-clear a day or so later.”
The shock comes after Hammond’s 288mph jet-powered car crash in 2006 while filming for the BBC’s ‘Top Gear’.
May’s accident is said to have happened at the decommissioned Olavsvern naval base near the city of Tromsø, as part of a new Grand Tour special which will be released later this year.
The presenter and his co-hosts apparently took it in turns to speed rally cars along a tunnel towards a rock wall at a Norwegian naval base.
The tunnel’s lights only came on as the cars sped along, giving all three just seconds to react as they ran out of space, according to The Sun.