IN her day job, she is as far removed from her alter-ego as possible.

Louise Kay snips hair and makes women look good as a mobile hairdresser and beauty therapist.

But when the weekend comes around, the scissors are replaced with spanners and her blue uniform is swapped for a set of leathers.

For the 31-year-old is a motorcycle drag racing champion.

Louise, from Harwood, said: “It is a very friendly sport and we all get along really well.”

She takes part in Straightliners drag racing and is 2008 champion in the 11.3 sector.

The idea is to complete a set distance in 11.3 seconds. The closet time wins, while any time below leads to disqualification. There is a great deal of skill and research involved — Louise has to study wind speed and wind direction before revving up But equally important is how she looks. She would not dream of competing without reapplying her make-up in between races.

“I lift my visor and apply my make-up,” she admitted. “I won’t go out without it, even when I'm racing.”

Louise has been competing for nine years and loves every minute of it. She used to ride horses — Louise is the daughter of Bolton RSPCA branch administrator Kathy Kay — but when her horses died she missed the excitement. Bikes filled the void and she has not looked back.

Her partner, Lee Cottrell, aged 34, who co-owns B and C Performance Tyres in Farnworth, is a talented motorcycle rider and enjoys a more extreme branch of the sport which includes pulling wheelies and other stunts.

Louise rides a Suzuki 884 Bandit which is kept in race trim by Lee to give her the best chance of winning.