Sabine Schmitz dead: Prominent German professional race driver and Top Gear host Sabine Schmitz has passed away at the age of 51. The sportswoman had been facing a long battle with cancer since 2017.
An official statement from Frikadelli Racing, the sports team she founded with husband Klaus Abbelen confirmed her death: “Sabine Schmitz (14.5.1969 – 16.3.2021) passed away yesterday (Tuesday) after her brave fight against cancer. She was 51 years old. Klaus Abbelen and all relatives and friends are deeply saddened by the immeasurable loss.”
Schmitz was popularly known as the Queen of Nürburgring for having mastered racing around the major-league German racetrack which thrust her to the global spotlight and bestowed upon her the honour of “the fastest taxi driver in the world.”
Sabine Schmitz (14.5.1969 – 16.3.2021) passed away yesterday (Tuesday) after her brave fight against cancer. She was 51 years old. Klaus Abbelen and all relatives and friends are deeply saddened by the immeasurable loss. pic.twitter.com/G706HGxDTC
— Frikadelli Racing (@Frikadelli_R) March 17, 2021
Sabine Schmitz Dead: Remembering The Sports Legend
Her charismatic personality, candid recollections of racing experiences and sporting skill landed her in the television industry. She first appeared on Germany’s D Motor show. In 2004, went on to notably make an appearance alongside Jeremy Clarkson on BBC’s Top Gear, where she bested his 9 minutes 59 seconds record around the Nürburgring by a whole 47 seconds.
Between 2016 to 2020, Schmitz was the lead presenter for Top Gear. Last year in July, through a Facebook post, Schmitz revealed she had been diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and was seeking treatment.
“Since the end of 2017, I have been fighting an extremely persistent cancer, which has not been able to deal with the means to date. It got a little better – but now he’s come back full force. Now I have to draw all the strength and registers to powerfully overcome the next therapies,” she had written.
Her longtime associate and Top Gear hosting predecessor Clarkson mourned her death on social media, writing, “Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans.”
Social media tributes pour in for Sabine Schmitz:
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! pic.twitter.com/MFKNNFOSDU
— Nürburgring (@nuerburgring) March 17, 2021
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. pic.twitter.com/awtbOnMD90
— Paddy McGuinness 💙 (@PaddyMcGuinness) March 17, 2021
I never thought car makers should be at the ‘Ring, but I always thought Sabine Schmitz should, and would, be. Rotten news. #RIP
— James May (@MrJamesMay) March 17, 2021
Image Credit: motorsport.com