Over her career, Sabine Schmitz completed 33,000 laps of the famed Nürburgring.
The “Queen of the ‘Ring” will forever welcome drivers to one of the world’s most iconic tracks, as the owners announced they would officially name the first corner “Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve”. It’s a fitting way to honor not only an accomplished racing driver, but a Nürburg local who grew up just a few meters away from the track with which she will always be associated, even after she tragically passed away in March.
“Sabine Schmitz was the ambassador of the Nürburgring,” says the track’s managing director Mirco Markfort. “Her name was mentiond around the globe in the same breath as our race track. It still stands for what defines the Nürburgring: the close connection to the region, the close proximity to the fans and the passionate commitment.”
Some folks experienced that commitment first hand, as one of Schmitz’s roles was as the driver of BMW’s “ring taxi” around the track. You may also remember her for her appearances on Clarkson-era Top Gear, wherein she drove a diesel Ford Transit van around the ‘Ring faster than Clarkson himself managed in a Jaguar S-Type. In both 1996 and 1997, she also won the 24-hour endurance race at the Nürburgring — being the only woman so far to do so. Track organizers will officially inaugurate the first corner of the track in her honor in September, at the ROWE 6 Hours ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen race.