Maria Sharapova Wows Press at Automobility LA

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By Rudi Lopez, M.A., Editor-in-Chief |

Los Angeles, CA. – The Porsche car exhibit area was extremely crowded with international press and trade personnel, cramming and moving their way through the crowds to get a good position and view of the press conference that was to take place. Anticipation filled the air in Petree Hall. At the center of the hall stood an automobile underneath a white cover and behind a media wall that featured a promotional video. The hall was so full, that hundreds of journalist were turned away.

Minutes before the press conference was to begin, a tall slender blond beauty, enters the Petree Hall from the Porsche gift shop. It was Russian tennis superstar Maria Sharapova. Immediately what seemed like thousands of digital SLR cameras, flashes of lights went off attempting to take photos of every step of this tall gorgeous athlete.

Early this summer in June, Maria Sharapova received a two-year suspension from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) after testing positive for banned drug meldonium, which many thought would end the career of the richest female athlete of the past decade. Sharapova claimed she had been taking meldonium since 2006 for heart issues, a magnesium deficiency and because her family has a history of diabetes. The tennis superstar appealed the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which heard the case in September and ruled in October that she acted with “no significant fault”, and as a result reduced her suspension to 15 months, allowing her to be eligible to return to tennis in April 2017.

On Wednesday, during the new AutoMobility LA Press & Trade Conference, Sharapova was present to provide an ace for Porsche executives to promote the new Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive and new Porsche 911 RSR motorsport car that will make its debut at the Daytona 24-hour race in January 2017. The Panamera will be available in models Panamera 4S Executive, Panamera 4E-Hybrid Executive and Panamera 4 Executive. One innovation is the basic engine of the four-door models. The fully redesigned 3.0-litre V6 turbo engine is the new entry-level model for the Gran Turismo class, and is used in the Panamera 4 Executive, the Panamera with rear-wheel drive and the Panamera 4 with all-wheel drive.

At the conclusion of the lively press conference, Sharapova along with Patrick Dempsey posed for photos with the Panamera and the 911 RSR cars. The tennis phenome along with Dempsey posed for all photographers, signed autographs, talked briefly with executives about the 911 RSR car, posed for selfies and answered a few questions before being led away to the private area.

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