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Vale Sabine (Reck) Schmitz, Queen of The Nürburgring

A remarkable driver, a personality and a force of nature.  Sadly, Sabine lost her battle on March 16 2021 to cancer, aged only 51.  I believe that the world has lost a motorsport icon.

“Sabine Schmitz passed away far too early after a long illness. We will miss her and her cheerful nature. Rest in peace Sabine,”

If you have not seen her top 5 or 10 videos on YouTube, genuinely, you are missing out.  She is fearless, entertaining with a sharp wit and an accomplished racer.  Her accomplishments are many, including becoming the first woman to win the Nürburgring’s 24 hour race.

Also known as the fastest taxi driver, sadly, I was never one of her terrified passengers at the Nordschleife.  Where she drove people around the fearsome circuit in performance cars, showing off her driving talents.

Having grown up at the circuit, she made the decision at the age of 13 to become a driver.  Having won at least 45 races with BMW at this iconic 25 kilometre circuit.  She contested races and scored points in the World Touring Car Championship in 2015 and 2016.


She brought to life a Top Gear challenge in 2004 and made such an impact in lapping a turgid Ford Transit van in just over 10 seconds.  It was this feat and the was she did it, with good grace and such humour.

Sabine radiated positivity, always wore her cheeky smile no matter how hard things got  and was a force of nature for women drivers in the motoring world, executive producer Clare Pizey told the BBC.  

I believe that her unique combination of humour, possessing such focus and intensity in her driving and her frankness made her so accessible as a television personality.  I am sure she has inspired many females to consider motorsport, and so they should.  Sabine was quoted as saying:

There are not many sports where men and women compete together. It’s more or less motorsport and some horse-riding. You need someone to look at who does it. I think I wasn’t too bad driving against all the professionals, the world champions and the Formula One drivers.

Having been diagnosed in 2017, Jason Torchinsky summed it up: This is absolutely miserable news; we know that cancer doesn’t care about how delightful or skilled or loved someone was, but it still feels unfair.


Photo credit: Road and Track


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