Actor/director Ron Howard was left red-faced after trailing behind in a driving challenge while appearing on U.K. motoring show Top Gear to promote his upcoming racing movie Rush.

The Hollywood legend appeared on the Tv show to discuss his new biographical action film, about the rivalry between 1970s Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, but he put in a less than impressive performance when it was his turn to hit the racetrack.

Chatting to host Jeremy Clarkson, he blamed his slow lap on the fact he is used to driving American cars: "First of all, I will say the right-hand drive and the gearshift on the left was a concern to me. It definitely threw me. I implore anyone who has any interest in seeing my movie Rush, you know, I didn't drive in the movie! Real drivers drove in the movie."

The presenter then revealed the Happy Days star's lap was timed at one minute, 49.9 seconds - sending him to the bottom of the celebrity leaderboard, just in front of Genesis rocker Mike Rutherford in last place.

Howard's time put behind AC DC star Brian Johnson, the current frontrunner, as well as actors Warwick Davis and Charles Dance and singer Joss Stone, but he insisted, "It wasn't quite as ugly as I imagined it would be. My director's eye on the outside had it looking pretty bad."

Clarkson joked, "We finally found something you can't do. Good at directing, brilliant in Happy Days, a charming human being... but utterly c**p at driving."