Esmee Hawkey recently quit her nine-to-five accountancy job to pursue her dream of being a professional racing driver.

The 20-year-old also abandoned her vocational studies to squash the preconception that motorsport is only for men.

Her driving passion was ignited as a child when she used to go to see her dad compete in karting races.

After watching him at the Monaco Cup, Esmee was thrilled to receive a kart for her eighth birthday and she hasn't looked back since.

She went on to get a karting Geinetta junior scholarship before progressing onto GT cars.

Esmee now gets around Chislehurst in a sponsored Porsche car and is an ambassador at her local Babington House School, where she used to attend.

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"I got a little bit of need for speed," Esmee recalled after watching her dad race.

"It was a little family affair. My grandad was my mechanic and my dad was my younger brother’s mechanic."

Esmee dreams of one day becoming the first woman in Formula One since Italy’s Lella Lombardi in 1976.

This year she will compete in the W Series, a new women-only competition designed to find female F1 stars.

"It is the opportunity of a lifetime," Esmee, who is one of only five Brits to be selected after a demanding test in Austria, said.

The winner will claim £500,000 and prize money will be collected by everyone in the top 18.

Organisers will host six 30-minute races throughout the year in Europe for the new Formula 3-level racing series.

Esmee said it was rare a competition was free to enter and said going all the way could make her ambition of competing professionally a reality.

She said: "I think I can do it, but the competition is extremely tough. I have no F3 experience and it will be tough going against professional racing drivers.

"As much of a challenge as it is, I am really excited for it."

The next step is a trip to Spain for four days of testing.

Esmee, a 2017 GB junior finalist, explained why she put her accounting studies on hold for what could be a boundary-breaking year.

"With all the racing going on and balancing the Porsche Carrera Cup with the W Series, doing an accountancy job and then a weekend doing a hobby wasn’t enough to go all the way.

"I am giving myself the best opportunity to become a professional racing driver."

She added: "I think it would be amazing for anyone to do their passion as their job. I am really hoping I pull it off.

"I guess you can only try as hard as you can and if it comes off it comes off. At least you gave it your best shot."

Esmee said her friends are still "pretty shocked" that she is a GT driver, and said missing social events can be hard, but she is focused on making everybody in Chislehurst proud.

Along her journey Esmee wants to inspire young girls to pursue sport so they won't have any future regrets.