Jason Plato had no idea what he'd got himself into. Yes, he'd decided he would do almost anything to land himself his last-chance British Touring Car Championship drive with the Williams Renault team - his tale of doorstepping Frank Williams is well known.
And, yes, he knew he'd be quick - he'd already proven that by outperforming the ex-Formula 1 opposition he was up against for the deal.
And, yes, competing in the BTCC - with eight manufacturers awash in corporate cash - was, especially for a British driver, second only to getting an F1 ride.
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Marcus Simmons is the deputy editor of Autosport magazine. As a child he was a regular on the chalk banks of Thruxton, before becoming an MSA timekeeper at the age of 17. Shortly afterwards, he started reporting for Motoring News and joined the staff in 1990.
After abandoning a parallel Formula First career – which had been as incident-packed as his childhood equestrian exploits – he moved to Autosport in 1996. Since then he has had two stints as a freelance and a brief spell as editor of Motor Sport magazine, during which the revered green cover was revived, before rejoining Autosport in 2008. He lives in Twickenham with his partner, two daughters, cat and guitars.