There is always a danger in this job that the writer will produce stories of great interest to him or herself, but not many other people. In the days of print it was easy to hide the odd indulgent foray, but within the constantly measurable soup that is the internet, nipping off to test racing cars is becoming hard to justify. Because people tend not to read stories and watch videos about them.
'Just don't press this one, alright?'
Well, luckily for me, I run my own budget, so when BMW asked if I fancied a go in its new DTM car, I didn't think too much about the 47 people who might watch the video, I thought "I desperately want to drive a DTM car" and I drove to Heathrow.
This was the most obsessively organised event of its type I've attended. The briefing seemed exhaustive, but the moment I was sitting in the car and the motor was fired, I really did understand why BMW Motorsport wanted to take very few risks with us hacks. Working hard on familiarisation before turning a wheel means you spend that first lap thinking about the lines and the way the car performs rather than peering at the demi-wheel and trying to recall if it's the green or the blue button that causes the motor to self-destruct.