The Grand Tour host Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear star Paddy McGuinness have led tributes for Sabine Schmitz after the racing driver has died aged 51.
The driver, known as the Queen of the Nürburgring, died after a long battle with cancer.
The Twitter account for the Nürburgring, the famous German racing track, broke the news, saying: ‘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!’
Aside from her success on the track, she was known for her appearances on Top Gear since 2004.
Jeremy Clarkson, who hosted Top Gear until 2015, said: ‘Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans.’
Paddy McGuinness, who has starred on the show since 2016, said: ‘I spent a glorious couple of days in a Ferrari with Sabine and she hunted me down in a banger race. What a woman, what a legacy, what a life. Very sad news. RIP the great Sabine Schmitz.’
His co-star Chris Harris added: ‘Rest in peace you wonderful, powerful, hilarious person.’
Freddie Flintoff reposted Harris’ tribute, adding a broken heart emoji.
Chris Hoy penned on Twitter: ‘So sad to hear this news, the Queen of the Nurburgring taken far too soon. RIP Sabine.’
Schmitz was well known in Germany for driving passengers around the racing track Nurburgring in a BMW M5, and was nicknamed the ‘Queen of the Nurburgring’.
She estimated in her life that she completed more than 20,000 laps of the ring.
While she first appeared on Top Gear in 2004, she became a regular from 2015 onwards.
Her first appearance saw her trying to beat Clarkson’s Jaguar S-Type lap around the Nürburgring in a Ford Transit van.
She got within 10 seconds of the sports car’s time.
Schmitz previously announced the news that she had been battling cancer since 2017, having pulled out of the Nurburgring Endurance Series race.
In an emotional post, 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.’Credit: Original article published here.