The history books do not record Steve Soper as a British Touring Car champion. His 14 victories don't put him into the top 20 on the winners' list either, and yet the 66-year-old is a tin-top legend. Rather like Stirling Moss in Formula 1, Soper isn't just one of the best drivers not to have won the title, he's one of the greatest to have appeared in the category.
Soper played pretty much every role in the BTCC: the young champion stripped of the crown through a technicality; a supersub wreaking havoc on the regulars; a serious title challenger who narrowly missed out; the veteran persuaded out of retirement in an attempt to bring success to an uncompetitive car.
In some respects, the first one was the most important - and painful. A single-make king, Soper was third in his first BTCC season in 1982, driving a Class D Austin Metro, and then stepped up to the big time with a Class A rear-wheel-drive Rover Vitesse. Many thought he'd struggle with the change, but they were wrong.