Today is a sad day for motorsports. Racing legend Sabine Schmitz – has tragically passed away following a long battle with cancer. She was 51 years old. The announcement was made by none other than Nurburgring officials.
“The Nürburgring 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!” the track said in a statement.
Schmitz, a professional racing driver, and Top Gear UK presenter was popularly known as the “Queen of the Nurburgring” due to her immense experience driving at the Green Hell. It's hard not to bring up the Nurburgring and not mention her name. By her own estimates, Schmitz said she has completed “about 20,000 laps” around the demanding race track.
Aside from gaining international fame for driving one of the BMW M5 “ring taxis”, Schmitz also competed in various touring car series. She was the first woman to ever win the 24 Hour of Nurburgring endurance race. Better yet, she did it back to back in 1996 and 1997 driving for BMW.
In 2020, Schmitz revealed through a Facebook post that she has been battling the Big C since late 2017. She has since sought treatment but unfortunately relapsed last year. It also explained her absence from the Nurburgring Endurance Series, wherein she was scheduled to compete.
She may no longer be around, but Schmitz's legacy lives on. With her racing record, she was also one of the world's most successful women in the field of motorsport alongside compatriots Jutta Kleinschmitt, Claudia Hürtgen, and Ellen Lohr.