The Queen of the Nurburgring and former Top Gear presenter Sabine Schmitz has died at the age of just 51 after a battle with cancer.
She became globally famous after she was featured on a Top Gear episode, teaching Jeremy Clarkson how to race around the Nurburgring in a diesel Jaguar S-Type. The goal was to achieve a time of ten minutes or less. He does it, but at the end of the segment, Sabine tells him that she could do that in a van.
So of course, in a future episode of Top Gear, they do just that, arming Sabine with a Ford Transit that’s been stripped entirely of anything unnecessary and given a Dodge Viper to clean the air in front of it. She wasn’t able to achieve ten minutes, but achieved a 10:08 around the ‘Ring. This just cemented the fact that she was an incredible driver. In fact, one of the best.
In late 2020, she revealed that she’d been fighting cancer since 2017.
The news of her passing has sent shockwaves across the industry, as it did only days ago when news of Murray Walker’s passing was released.
In a statement by the Nurburgring, they say the following:
“The Nurburgring has lost its most famous female racing driver.
“Sabine Schmitz passed away far too early after a long illness. We will miss her and her cheerful nature. Rest in peace Sabine!”
Top Gear presenter Chris Harris, who was close with the German racing driver after presenting Top Gear alongside her, posted the following to Twitter.
Rest in peace you wonderful, powerful, hilarious person. pic.twitter.com/nwXgBwZsbE
— chris harris (@harrismonkey) March 17, 2021
We’re so incredibly sad about Sabine’s passing, and wish her family and friends the bets. RIP Queen of the Nurburgring.