Sabine Schmitz, ‘Queen of the Nurburgring,’ dies at 51

Rodolfo Schellin

NÜRBURG, Germany — Previous racing driver Sabine Schmitz, the ‘Queen of the Nürburgring’ who was also a presenter of the preferred BBC “Top rated Gear” television method, has died at age fifty one.

Schmitz won the 24 Hours of Nürburgring touring car race with BMW in 1996 and 1997. She was the 1st and only feminine driver at any time to earn there.

Schmitz grew up in close proximity to the Nürburgring, a fearsome track which winds via the hills of western Germany. Its thirteen-mile Nordschleife configuration is regarded as just one of the most demanding and perilous tracks in the environment.

The German circuit introduced on Wednesday that it had “misplaced its most well known feminine racing driver.”

“Sabine Schmitz handed absent much far too early after a prolonged health issues. We will overlook her and her cheerful character. Rest in peace, Sabine,” it explained on Twitter.

 She unveiled final yr that she was identified with cancer in 2017. She continued racing until 2019.

Also identified as ‘the world’s quickest taxi driver’ for the passenger rides she gave about the 20.8km Nordschleife — the north loop of the previous “Environmentally friendly Hell” circuit — Schmitz believed she had lapped it additional than 20,000 instances.

Schmitz moved via lessen-degree racing groups right before winning the 24-hour race in 1996 and 1997 as aspect of a staff driving a BMW M3. She also won the VLN championship of endurance races at the Nürburgring in 1998.

In 2004, she drove a Ford diesel van about the track for a “Top rated Gear” episode, lapping in just in excess of 10 minutes — only nine seconds slower than fellow presenter Jeremy Clarkson’s best energy in a Jaguar S-style.

“Awful information about Sabine Schmitz. These kinds of a sunny person and so total of beans,” Clarkson explained on Twitter.

She shortly grew to become a common visitor star and fan beloved on “Top rated Gear,” and from 2016 on was aspect of the show’s common staff. 

The BBC explained the following episode of the prolonged-running present will be dedicated to Schmitz.

“Sabine radiated positivity, usually wore her cheeky smile no make any difference how difficult points bought — and was a drive of character for women of all ages drivers in the motoring environment,” executive producer Clare Pizey advised the BBC.

Schmitz also worked on a present on German Tv and ran a vacationer ranch in close proximity to the Nürburgring.

Data from Reuters was bundled in this report.

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