Power Maxed Racing's Kelvin Fletcher admits he's having to 'pinch himself' after getting his first taste of the British Touring Car Championship during FP1 at Brands Hatch.
The Emmerdale actor is making his BTCC debut this weekend behind the wheel of a PMR run Chevrolet Cruze, alongside Hunter Abbott.
Fletcher is no stranger to the BTCC paddock having previously competed in the Porsche Carrera Cup but says the feeling of driving an NGTC touring car is unlike anything he's experienced before.
Alternator issues hampered much of Fletcher's maiden voyage during FP1 but the PMR driver was otherwise pleased with his morning's work.
"Driving out of the pits came the realisation that 'I'm in the BTCC' so that's a huge dream come true for me and my family. We're just enjoying the ride," Fletcher told Crash.net.
"It felt very different to what I've been used to but this morning was all about just getting a feeling for the car. We had a slight alternator problem, so we had to change that and lost a bit of time because of that.
"I was able to do the final 5-10 minutes of the session but I wasn't up to pace so that meant it was more getting out of the way than pushing for a time. I was happy with the session though. The car feels good so gradually through the weekend I'll try to push on.
"It's my first weekend in the car so I've just got to be patient. I'm pretty sure as the rounds progress I'll be there or thereabouts."
Indeed, Fletcher is under no illusion of the task at hand and simply hopes to get through his first weekend relatively unscathed.
Due to conflicting filming commitments, Fletcher was unable to drive the Chevrolet during last week's Media test - meaning this weekend has effectively become a highly public test for the 32-year old.
"I've got to be realistic. It's a stressful weekend with 32-cars at Brands Hatch when everyone has the feeling they can win the championship at the first round. The aim is to get through unscathed and build on session by session," Fletcher continued.
"I'd like to think on Monday morning I'll have completed three races. Then I can look forward to hopefully testing the car and go from there.
"It's a huge step I've taken. People in the within the motorsport arena will understand the challenge that's in front of me. I've literally jumped in right at the deep end. It what it is! It's the nature of the beast."