German racing driver Sabine Schmitz, best known for her recurring role in BBC’s Top Gear has passed away from cancer at the age of 51.
In a statement the German circuit said, “Sabine Schmitz passed away far too early after a long illness. We will miss her and her cheerful nature. Rest in peace Sabine! The Nurburgring has lost its most famous female racing driver.”
Sabine rose to stardom after featuring in the sixth season of the BBC’s Top Gear. She then claimed she could beat Jeremy Clarkson’s record while in a Jaguar S-Type while driving a Ford Transit Van.
Although she didn’t quite beat his time, she came remarkably close, while also setting a new record for an unmodified van, of 10 minutes and 8 seconds.
She was also the first woman to have won the legendary 24-hour race there.
She also founded the team Frikadelli Racing together with her husband Klaus Abbelen whom she is survived by.
Condolences for the racing star have been pouring in. Her team said in a statement, “Klaus Abbelen and all relatives and friends are deeply saddened by the immeasurable loss.”
Jeremy Clarkson also added a tribute of his own on social media, remembering her as “Such a sunny person and so full of beans.”