A temporary injunction to prevent the identity of Top Gear's The Stig being revealed has been rejected by the High Court.
The legal action had been launched by the BBC against publishers HarperCollins because the autobiography would reveal the identity of the faceless driver.
According to the corporation, The Stig is bound to a confidentiality agreement.
The BBC argued that unveiling his identity would spoil viewers' enjoyment of the popular programme.
But lawyers for HarperCollins revealed that Mr Justice Morgan ruled in their favour in the private hearing.
Solicitor Robin Shaw said: "The judge has said he is not going to grant an injunction in this case. Reasons are to follow and will be given in a private judgment."
A spokeswoman for the BBC said the judgment did not prevent it from pursuing the matter to a full trial of the issues.
Several racing drivers have been linked to the role, including former Formula One world champions Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher and - most recently - racing driver Ben Collins, 33, who was a stunt double for James Bond.
Mr Collins was in court for part of the hearing before leaving to return home to Bristol.
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