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Top Gear’s Sabine Schmitz, 51, dies after three-year cancer battle

Top Gear’s Sabine Schmitz, 51, dies after three-year cancer battle: Racing world mourns loss of Germany’s ‘Queen of the Nurburgring’

Top Gear‘s Sabine Schmitz has died aged 51 after a three-year battle with cancer.

The German driver known as the ‘Queen of the Nürburgring’ revealed last July that she had been suffering from ‘an extremely persistent cancer’ since 2017.

Schmitz was well known to British audiences for racing Jeremy Clarkson around the Nürburgring on the BBC’s Top Gear. 

In a heartbreaking post on Facebook last year, Schmitz explained that her absence from the Porsche team at the Nürburgring Endurance Series was due to her illness.

She wrote: ‘Dear friends of professional motor sport, 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.

‘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.’

Ms Schmitz first appeared on Top Gear in 2004 when she tried to beat Clarkson’s Jaguar S-Type lap around the Nürburgring – in a Ford Transit van. She managed to get within 10 seconds of the sports car. 

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