Auto Culture

Cancer Claims Queen Of The Nurburgring Sabine Schmitz


German racing driver Sabine Schmitz – the only woman to win the Nurburgring 24 Hours – has succumbed at age 51 after being diagnosed with cancer in 2017.

Schmitz, driving a BMW M3, won the 24-hour touring car race back to back – in 1996 and 1997 – at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, the 14-mile circuit in Germany that is renowned as the toughest in the world and earned her royal title as the “Queen of the Nurburgring” as she estimates she had driven around the track more than 20,000 times.

Schmitz later gained acclaim for an appearance on Top Gear in 2004 in which she drove a van around the track, scaring the bejeebers out of both herself and Richard Hammond, then made subsequent appearances on the show before ultimately becoming a co-host in 2016.

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