A BRIDGWATER youngster teenager with autism is dreaming of becoming a professional race driver.

Sylvain Vessier, who lives with his family on Bridgwater's Kingsdown estate, started racing at the age of 12 and has competed in races across the south west.

But now the 15-year-old Sylvain's ambitions hang in the balance.

His kart finally needed replacing last year after suffering a broken frame, but when Sylvain's family found a replacement frame and handed over a deposit it was the last the family saw of the money and no kart was ever delivered.

Mrs Vessier said: "Sylvain was a child that kept in his emotions and was and still is constantly bullied.

"He started racing at age 12, after realising that he could drive well in indoor karting.

"Through karting he is able to take out his frustration on track despite the bullying, have a social circle and really come out of his shell.

"Racing has always been his passion."

The family is now hoping to fundraise to help fund a new kart so Sylvain can continue karting and compete across the UK.

Sylvain, who is in his last year of school at Chilton Trinity, is also in need of sponsorship if we wants to compete at a higher level.

He is with a local team, Haworth racing and his home track is Clay Pigeon raceway near Dorchester.

He aims to be a racer but has applied to Bridgwater college Motorsport course to be able to work in the industry.

During his short racing career Sylvain has even met former Formula 1 star Mark Webber.

Mrs Vessier added: "We would love to here any companies willing to do sponsor Sylvain would be much appreciated."

Sylvain has a gofundme.com/sylvain-vessier-karting, and can be found on Facebook by searching Sylvain Vessier 29 Racing.