RACING driver and Top Gear favourite Sabine Schmitz has died at the age of 51 from cancer.
The Nürburgring’s best-known female driver, Sabine Schmitz, lost her battle with cancer after more than three years with the disease.
Paying tribute to the famous driver, legendary motorsport complex the Nürburgring tweeted: “The Nürburgring 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!”
Sabine Schmitz became known to the general public for her appearances on Top Gear.
Presenter Paddy McGuinness paid tribute to the driver, describing her as “an amazing human being”.
“She gave me pointers on how to drive a Ferrari very fast and hunted me down in a banger race. Brilliantly bonkers and an amazing human being! RIP the great Sabine Schmitz,” he wrote on Twitter.
Sabine was first seen on British TV taking ex-Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson around the ring taxi in 2002’s Jeremy Clarkson Meets the Neighbours.
She had also previously starred alongside the original Top Gear line up and appeared on the show from time to time from 2004 onwards.
Jeremy Clarkson tweeted: “Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans.”
Since 2006, Sabine co-presented a German motoring show called D Motor, frequently being set challenges behind the wheel for the show.
She became known as “the fastest taxi driver in the world” after being one of two drivers who circled the Nurburgring 20.8km race track in BMW M5 “ring taxis”.
She has also featured on other television shows, such as Fifth Gear.
Her name is a household name on and around the Nürburgring, after she became a professional driver in 1993.
The famous driver was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and in summer 2020 the disease struck again, reported Autoblog.
The popular driver revealed her heartbreaking battle with cancer in a social media post explaining her absence from the Nürburgring Endurance Series with her team Frikadelli Racing.
“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,” she wrote.
“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’.”
Until now, she was the only woman to win the 24h of the Nürburgring.