Sabine Schmitz, 'Queen of the Nuerburgring', dies at 51

(Reuters) - Former racing driver Sabine Schmitz, the 'Queen of the Nuerburgring' who was also a presenter of the popular BBC Top Gear television programme, has died at the age of 51.

The German circuit announced on Wednesday that it had "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," it said on Twitter.

The German, who grew up near the circuit and won the 24 Hours of Nuerburgring touring car race with BMW in 1996 and 1997, had revealed last year that she was diagnosed with cancer in 2017.

Also known as 'the world's fastest taxi driver' for the passenger rides she gave around the 20.8km Nordschleife -- the north loop of the old 'Green Hell' circuit -- Schmitz estimated she had lapped it more than 20,000 times.

In 2004 she drove a Ford diesel van around the track for a Top Gear episode, lapping in just over 10 minutes -- only nine seconds slower than fellow presenter Jeremy Clarkson's best effort in a Jaguar S-type.

"Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans," Clarkson said on Twitter.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Next In Motorsport

Motor racing-F1 governing body to clamp down on suspected 'bendy wings'
Early Hari Raya cheer for Naquib as he wins eRacing Global Edition
Third round of Cub Prix postponed
Motor racing-Red Bull 'desperately' need Perez closer to the front
Motor racing-Hamilton hopes new contract can be sealed by August
Podium finish in Valencia sweeter than in Portugal, says Adam
Motor racing-Revived Ferrari hail a big step forward after dire 2020
Motor racing-Hamilton says he learned a lot about Verstappen in Spain
Motor racing-Wolff's message to race control signals new move for F1
Motor racing-Team by team analysis of the Spanish Grand Prix

Stories You'll Enjoy