Sabine Schmitz, the German racing driver who served as a presenter on the BBC’s success Top Gear, died at the age of 51.
Schmitz revealed last year that she had suffered from cancer since 2017. Known as the queen of the Nürburgring, her death drew tributes from the BBC, the team behind Amazon. The Grand Tourand the world of motor racing.
Top Gear Executive Producer Clare Pizey said: “Sabine was a beloved member of the Top Gear family and presentation team since 2016, having first appeared on the show in 2004, and everyone who has had the pleasure of working with her on the team is in shock at this news.
“The ‘Queen of the Nürburgring,’ Sabine beamed with positivity, always wore her cheeky smile no matter how difficult it was – and was a force of nature to female drivers in the automotive world. Like everyone who knew her, she will be truly missed – Sabine was truly one of a kind. Our hearts go out to his partner Klaus who has always been by his side and whom we have welcomed to Dunsfold on several occasions, and his family in Germany.
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Other Top Gear the numbers remembered Schmitz, including Jeremy Clackson, who tweeted:
Terrible news from Sabine Schmitz. A person so sunny and so full of beans.
– Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) March 17, 2021
Current presenter Paddy McGuinness added:
She gave me advice on how to drive a Ferrari really fast and tracked me down in a banger race. Brilliantly bonkers and an amazing human being! RIP the great Sabine Schmitz. pic.twitter.com/awtbOnMD90
– Paddy McGuinness 💙 (@PaddyMcGuinness) March 17, 2021
Co-host Chris Harris said:
Rest in peace wonderful, powerful and hilarious person. pic.twitter.com/nwXgBwZsbE
– chris harris (@harrismonkey) March 17, 2021
Former presenter James May added, “I never thought that automakers should be at the ‘Ring, but I always thought that Sabine Schmitz should, and would, be. Rotten news. Richard Hammond said: “Very sad to hear of the passing of Sabine Schmitz, a true driving legend who will be sadly missed.”
Although she appeared on Top Gear on several occasions over the years it has been synonymous with the period when Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc welcomed the BBC Studios car brand from 2016. It became known for making its passengers sick due to the speed at which it drove .
Schmitz grew up in his parents’ hotel a few meters from the legendary Nürburgring track and has spent his life surrounded by cars and racing. She became the first woman to win the prestigious 24-hour Nürburgring race in 1996.
Sunday’s episode of Top Gear will be dedicated to Schmitz.