The only female winner of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, and TV presenter, Sabine Schmitz died in March this year. The sad early death of another female leader in the motor industry.
Sabine’s first triumph at the 24 Hours race came in 1996. She raced alongside her team mates Johannes Scheid and Hans Widmann in a BMW M3. Her success was no fluke. She returned the following year, this time with Scheid, Hans-Jürgen Tiemann and Peter Zakowski. She won again.
Because of her amazing success and a close association with the track she was known as the “Queen of the Nürburgring”. She was no one trick pony. She also enjoyed a great deal of success with her own racing team Frikadelli Racing, which she had founded with her husband, Klaus Abbelen.
Sabine became known to a UK audience when she joined Top Gear. She first joined Clarkson in 2004. After he left, she became part of the presenting team with Chris Evans in 2016 where she was a very popular member of the team. Paddy McGuinness tweeted “Brilliantly bonkers and an amazing human being! RIP the great Sabine Schmitz.”
Sabine revealed last year she had been dealing with a rare form of cancer since 2017. Despite that she is said to have radiated positivity, always wore her cheeky smile no matter how hard things became and was a force of nature for female drivers in the motoring world. She died aged 51
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