Sabine Schmitz got famed after she won the endurance competition of 24hs on the circuit of Nurburgring in 1996 and 1997 behind the wheel of a BMW M4 E36.
Written by Bruna Brito, Edited by Esmée Koppius and Tanishka Vashee
From an early age, Sabine was quite literally very close to the Nürburgring. Her family owned the Pistenklause restaurant and lived in the hotel Tiergarten, both located within the Nürburgring Nordschleife complex.
This proximity to the asphalt made not only Sabine, but also her two sisters interested in automobile competitions and trying to pursue a career as a driver. However, only she stood out in motorsport.
Being a driver was only a part of Sabine’s life. Schmitz took part in many other events at the Nürburgring. She graduated in the hospitality business, owned a bar and was a registered helicopter pilot. She also became a TV presenter in Germany, in the 2000s, and in the famous BBC’s Top Gear, starting in 2016. She had already appeared as a guest many times before
Another facet for which she became known was that of the Nürburgring taxis, which she herself created. The service is simple: whoever was visiting the track and wanted to take a quick ride, paid a fee and won a lap with Sabine Schmitz at the wheel. This earned her the nickname of ‘the most famous taxi driver in the world’. She is also often referred to as the ‘Queen of the Nürburgring’. Sabine stopped driving the taxi in 2011 but instead gave detailed track ventures with a team.
Coming back to her work as a TV presenter, she hosted “Top Gear”, which will be launching a special episode in honor of Sabine Schmitz. According to BBC program directors, fans can expect the presence of current hosts – Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness – but also former hosts such as Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May, among others. Other noteworthy individuals who are believed to be featured on this episode are David Coulthard, Susie and Toto Wolff and Jess Hawkings.
Sabine waged a courageous fight against cancer, but unfortunately the world lost a star on the 16th of March 2021. Sabine was just 51 years old.