MOTORSPORT: WHILE never having to tackle anything more difficult than a roundabout at rush hour, most drivers imagine they could cut it in a sports car.
I know in my mind's eye, the motorway has often turned into the last stage of the world championship, with spectators roaring the car on to the finish and a glorious victory with liberal doses of champagne.
But it is one thing to dream of driving a rally car and quite another to actually climb behind the wheel and get around a course in real life.
That was what I had come to Oulton Park's rally school to do, with the help of Tony Jardine and the Group N MG ZR sports car.
Tony, one time art teacher at Wood-church High School and now known to millions as a Formula One expert on ITV, will be driving the ZR along with team mate and former British rally champion Gwyndaf Evans in the Wales Rally GB.
The car is also being used as part of MG's scholarship scheme to find the next generation of rallying talent and while I didn't think I was quite that good, I was eager to have a go for myself all the same.
The car itself looked like the kind you would see on the road, but it had been modified to withstand the rigours of rallying.
Once I had negotiated the roll cage and was strapped into the bucket seat, Liverpool-born Tony's easy manner immediately calmed my pre-drive nerves.
"It's a bit slippy on the track, so what I want is for you to take it easy on the first lap to see what it is like and then we'll start having some fun," he smiled.
By fun, Tony - nicknamed Teach - was specifically referring to using the handbrake to power slide the car around the corners, with the back end fishtailing around until you release the handle and speed on to the next bend - at least in theory.
Watched by my fellow hacks, I managed to pull away without stalling and gunned the engine until the moment of truth had arrived and the track was laid out in front of me.
On my first lap, the first thing I noticed was how many turns there were, with hardly any chances to floor the accelerator before the next bend was snaking away.
"Don't worry about the gears," Tony confided, "we won't get out of second on this track so just keep it going." After the end of the first lap, I felt confident enough to speed up and look a little less like I was driving Miss Daisy when a 180 degree corner loomed in the front window.
With a sharp intake of breath I hauled on the hand-brake and waited - unti l th e car screeched around the bend like Star-sky and Hutch.
"Great power slide Neil," enthused Tony, and buoyed by my mentor's praise I kept on sliding, only once nearly losing control and just missing the reporter from BBC Wales who was getting some footage of a car in action for his report, but nearly had an extra close-up of the bonnet.
Almost too soon it was over and I had to ease the car back to the pits for the next driver to have their turn.
With Tony again saying how well I had done I was thinking that I could indeed handle myself in motorsport, right up until Gwyndaf gave me a demonstration of how a real rally driver earns his corn.
On the same track I had driven on at what I thought was a pretty fast clip, the Welshman absolutely tore around, his hands a blur from gear stick to hand brake to steering wheel as he made the car dance at will.
At one point I thought I could still hear my scream from the previous lap, but it was just the tyres squealing as we blistered around another tight bend, defying the laws of physics.
Thankfully I survived with my dignity intact and without begging him to stop, but in future, I think I will leave the power sliding to the professionals.