Sabine Schmitz: F1 and motorsport world pays tribute after death of ‘Queen of the Nurburgring’ aged 51

‘Queen of the Nurburgring’ Sabine Schmitz revealed last year she had been battling cancer; tributes to two-time winner of Nurburgring 24 Hours from across the motorsport world

Trailblazing racing driver Sabine Schmitz, the only female winner of the Nurburgring 24 Hours, has died aged 51.

Schmitz, who was widely known as ‘Queen of the Nurburgring’ and became a presenter on Top Gear, said last year she had been diagnosed with cancer in 2017.

She won the German circuit’s endurance race, which takes place in part on the fearsome original banked Nordschleife, in 1996 and 1997 for BMW.

“The Nurburgring has lost its most famous female racing driver,” the German circuit said in a statement.

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

Formula 1 paid tribute to her on Twitter.

“Pioneer, champion, Queen of the Nurburgring,” said F1. “Sabine Schmitz was a unique, much-loved and cherished member of our sport’s family, and a force of nature for inspiring a new generation of motorsport enthusiasts

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.

Tributes were paid from across the motorsport world to Schmitz, who also became well-known in the UK for her appearances on the BBC’s Top Gear.

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