Sabine Schmitz — affectionately known as the Queen of Nürburgring and former host of the hit BBC show “Top Gear” — has died.
Sabine, the only woman ever to win Germany’s famous 24-hour touring car and GT endurance racing event in 1996 and 1997, died Tuesday. She revealed last year she had been battling a rare form of cancer since 2017.
The Nürburgring’s racing account tweeted, “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!”
Sabine was no stranger to the race track, having grown up in Nürburg and so close to the Nürburgring circuit in western Germany. She also raced for the Porsche motorsport team … which also paid tribute to her saying it’s “very sad to hear that Sabine Schmitz (1969-2021) has passed away.”
The Porsche motorsport team added, “The ‘Queen of Nordschleife’ was a crowd favourite due to her open, humorous way. Our sympathy goes to her family and friends.”
Sabine would go on to become a regular guest on “Top Gear” … making her first appearance in 2004. Executive producer Clare Pizey, said, “Sabine was a beloved member of the Top Gear family and presenting team since 2016, having first appeared on the show in 2004, and everyone who had the pleasure of working with her on the team is in shock at this news.”
The show’s former host, Jeremy Clarkson, also was stunned by the news saying, “Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans.”
Sabine was 51.