WHEN Hayley Swanson was a grid girl on the Gold Coast she stood next to a succession of race cars and dreamt of driving them.
Several years later she is living her dream double life, combining modelling commitments with racing a variety of motor sport categories.
The 26-year-old Victorian raced a HQ Holden at Symmons Plains this weekend, having previously graced the track in both an Aussie racing car and V8 ute.
Having also been a Miss Indy, Miss V8 and an Aussie racing car ambassador, she is loving the opportunity to combine the contrasting roles.
"It's kind of cool because I can do modelling during the week then race at weekends and I get a lot of enjoyment and fun out of both," Swanson said.
"My dad got me into racing and I did pretty well in the first couple of years.
"Then in 2011 the Aussie racing cars asked me to be their ambassador and I drove for them as well and it was great doing both."
Swanson is hoping for a return to the Aussie racing cars and a possible NASCAR ute drive but said being a part-time model makes no difference on the track.
"All the drivers have different backgrounds when they're not racing. Some people think accountants are boring but we've got accountants and all sorts of professions.
"Out there we all come together for the love of racing."