Sabine Schmitz, who has died at the age of 51, was widely known as the Queen of the Nurburgring as well as the ‘fastest taxi driver in the world’.
The Top Gear presenter had fought a long battle with cancer and her death was announced on Wednesday.
Tributes have poured in with the likes of Jeremy Clarkson and Paddy McGuinness paying their respects to the racing legend.
Why was Sabine Schmitz known as Queen of the Nurburgring?
Schmitz earned the nickname ‘Queen of the Nurburgring’ after conquering one of the most challenging racing circuits in motorsport.
It was once estimated that Schmitz has done more than 20,000 laps around the Nurburgring, a German racing track, increasing by around 1,200 per year.
Schmitz grew up in Nurburg, the town where the ring is where her family owned a hotel and restaurant, and so was naturally inspired to pursue racing professionally.
In 2017, Schmitz took part in a Top Gear challenge where she was tasked with naming every corner of the Nurburgring.
Of course, she executed the challenge effortlessly and named every turn of the 13-mile track in 48 seconds – she was most thrilled that she did it in under a minute.
News of Schmitz’s death was announced by Nurburgring in a statement, which said: ‘The Nurburgring 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!’
Paying tribute, former Top Gear host Clarkson tweeted: ‘Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans.’
Paddy McGuinness, who has hosted the long-running series 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.’
Credit: Original article published here.