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Top Gear star and German racing legend Sabine Schmitz dies at 51

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erman racing legend and Top Gear star Sabine Schmitz has died aged 51, it was announced today.

Schmitz, widely known as Queen of the Nurburgring, revealed last year that she had been battling cancer since 2017.

She was known for appearing on BBC’s Top Gear over the years.

Nurburgring, the iconic German racing track, said in a statement on Wednesday: “The Nurburgring 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!”

Schmitz explained in a social media post last year that her absence from the Nurburgring Endurance Series was due to cancer.

She wrote at the time: “Many of you have probably wondered why I was on the list of participants on our Porsche in the NSL and then didn’t drive after all.

“I would like to provide enlightenment here, I think I owe it to my/our fans!

“Since the end of 2017, I have been fighting an extremely persistent cancer that has not been eliminated with the resources so far. It got a little better – but now it’s come back with full force.

Top Gear presenters (left to right) Chris Harris, Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Chris Evans, Eddie Jordan and The Stig

/ PA

“Now I have to draw all the strength and nerve to master the next powerful therapies … hoping something [good] will happen. So I say goodbye ‘probably’ for the first time this season.

“In addition, I would like to thank everyone for their help and support in my everyday life, and encouragement in writing!

“So sweethearts, now you have an update. Please stay healthy and cheerful, see you at the ‘Ring.”

Sabine Schmitz and fellow Top Gear presenters

/ BBC

TV presenter Paddy McGuinness said Schmitz was a “brilliantly bonkers and an amazing human being”.

“She gave me pointers on how to drive a Ferrari very fast and hunted me down in a banger race,” he tweeted.

Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson also took to Twitter to pay tribute to Schmitz.

He said: “Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans.”

One Twitter user said Schmitz was “an enthusiastic person who lived life flat out”.

Since 2006 the racing legend co-presented the German motoring show D Motor and she became known as the “world’s fastest taxi driver” after she drove passengers around the Nurburgring track in BMW M5 “ring taxis”.


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