Maria Sharapova and Mark Webber arranged to meet for a special form of speed dating at the Porsche Development Center in Weissach on Friday.
As Porsche Brand Ambassadors, the tennis star and the racing driver have known each other for a while now – and the five-time Grand Slam winner was more than happy to take up the invitation of the former Porsche works driver and endurance world champion to swap the clay court in the Porsche Arena for the asphalt of the Porsche test track. The former Porsche works driver and world endurance champion negotiated the circuit with the tennis player in a 700 hp (Fuel consumption combined 11.8 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 269 g/km) powerful Porsche 911 GT2 RS, always in the ideal line and close to the limits of physics in some bends. Even though the strain for Maria Sharapova as the passenger was not as high as in a third-set tie-break in the final of a Grand Slam, she visibly enjoyed the detour to Weissach which also included a spell behind the steering wheel herself.
“It’s always fascinating to experience what a professional racing driver can do with a super sports car,” said Maria Sharapova afterwards, “and keeping my well-being in mind, I’m sure he wasn’t driving flat out, far from it. He’s simply a real gentleman.”
They came from all over Australia, driving or trucking their near-new 911s to the spectacular Australian circuit.