Sabine Schmitz, the Queen of the Nürburgring, has made a couple of key appearances on television with Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond.
Apart from her 1996 and 1997 winning of the 24 Hours Nürburgring while racing for BMW, Schmitz also ran a famous taxi service around the track for years. This made her an expert at traversing the infamous course, and was why Clarkson and Top Gear reached out to her on multiple occasions for help.
In 2002, Jeremy Clarkson met with Sabine Schmitz for a bit of a tour of her Ring Taxi business. Since she has driven around the Nürburgring thousands of times, it was the perfect opportunity for Clarkson to see how well a BMW M5 could navigate the track.
Later, Clarkson and Schmitz returned to the track on Top Gear. This time, it was Sabine teaching Jeremy how to get around the track in a Jaguar. When the host finally made it around in 9 minutes and 59 seconds, his teacher was not impressed.
Schmitz quipped that she could do better in a commercial van. Which leads us to the next Top Gear appearance.
This time, Hammond went to Germany. His goal: see if Schmitz could fly around her home track faster than Clarkson.
Only now, he would be driving a Ford Transit van. A diesel one at that.
Schmitz made it around in an amazing 10 minutes and 8 seconds. Not fast enough to beat Clarkson, but plenty quick to pass a bunch of Porsche-driving civilians.
This was when Clarkson first pointed out how great of a Top Gear host she would make. After all, Sabine Schmitz is cheaper, faster, taller, and better looking than the hamster.
In 2015 and 2016, these comments and history of appearances on the show led The Guardian and The Telegraph to speculate that Schmitz would become a new presenter of Top Gear. She had some cool segments, including one with her teams Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Unfortunately, Schmitz has been battling cancer for the past few years. She recently made a statement about how it has been coming back after being in remission. Let’s all hope for a speedy recovery for the Queen of the Ring!