Zvonareva & Lisicki's Porsche Experience
Published April 25, 2012 12:00
WEISSACH, Germany - How are the stars of the WTA on the track? In a rare opportunity, Vera Zvonareva and Sabine Lisicki paid a visit to Porsche's Research & Development Center in Weissach, test driving some of the prestigious automaker's models - and hitting top speeds of around 250kph.
Just a short drive from Stuttgart, roughly 30km, the facility only rarely welcomes guests to try out their cars but made an exception this time for the two Top 15 players, though they did shut down live testing while they were there. Zvonareva and Lisicki hit the Hill Course, a 2.88km track, and drove laps in such models as the Porsche 911 GT3, the Porsche 911 Turbo and the Porsche Boxster.
"This was just the perfect thing for me," Lisicki said. "I love driving cars. I was driving with a very good driver. They've been doing this for years and have a lot of experience, and it's amazing to see how well they control the cars. And to drive a couple of laps myself was amazing. It made the day perfect. I really loved it.
"My favorite was the GT3. It was so much fun to drive in it. You could really feel the speed and we were kind of drifting as well, so it was just amazing."
"I liked all of the cars, but I think maybe the Turbo was my favorite," Zvonareva said. "I didn't know what to expect from today. You watch all those car racing competitions and don't realize what drivers have to do - then once you get to experience it on the track with high speeds you understand the job they're doing. Obviously we weren't pushing the cars to the limits, but it's still an incredible feeling. You realize every quarter of a second counts to these drivers.
"We were going up to 250kph sometimes, then we would hit the breaks and come to a full stop 100m later, in three or four seconds. It was incredible."
Lisicki has always been a fan of racing - she started following F1 a while ago. "I was already following it when I was young, watching Michael Schumacher, and now Sebastian Vettel," the German commented. "I just really like it."
Zvonareva, who lives in Moscow, doesn't normally get to hit high speeds. "In Moscow there's so much traffic so you don't really get to go more than about 20kph," she said. "I like driving, I like speed and I like to accelerate when I can on the road, but driving in the city is just about sneaking in and making turns."