'Queen of the Nurburgring' racing driver Sabine Schmitz dies at 51

Presenter of BBC's 'Top Gear' had a rare form of cancer diagnosed in 2017

German racing driver Sabine Schmitz died after a battle with cancer. Getty Images
German racing driver Sabine Schmitz died after a battle with cancer. Getty Images

German racing driver Sabine Schmitz, the only female winner of the 24 Hours of Nurburgring race, has died. She was 51.

Schmitz, who was widely known as the "Queen of the Nurburgring" racetrack and starred on the BBC's Top Gear, had a rare form of cancer diagnosed in 2017.

The Nurburgring posted this message on Twitter:

Adenau-born Schmitz's first triumph at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring came in 1996 with Johannes Scheid and Hans Widmann in a BMW M3.

She won again the in 1997 with Scheid, Hans-Jurgen Tiemann and Peter Zakowski.

Schmitz later impressed race fans with her own team, Frikadelli Racing, which she founded with her husband Klaus Abbelen.

She joined Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear in 2004 and became part of the presenting team when Chris Evans fronted the revamped programme in 2016.

Updated: March 17, 2021 03:00 PM

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