Sabine Schmitz has tragically died aged 51 after a long battle with Cancer. Shmitz earned a reputation as the ‘Queen of the Nurburgring’ having driven the track on thousands of occasions.
Schmitz won the 24 Hours Nurburgring in back-to-back years in 1996 and 1997.
She also ran a famous taxi service around the track for years having grown up a short distance away from the iconic venue.
Her track expertise earned her a role on Top Gear from 2004.
She became a huge part of the show following the departures of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond in 2015.
The Nurburgring announced she had sadly passed in a statement on Wednesday morning.
The statement read: “The Nurburgring has lost its most famous female racing driver.
“Sabine Schmitz passed away far too early after a long illness. We will miss her and her cheerful nature. Rest in peace Sabine!”
Fans had been asking why she was absent from the Nurburgring Endurance Series last year and she responded with an emotional post on social media detailing her long battle with cancer.
She wrote: “Dear friends of professional motor sport, many of you have probably wondered why I was on the list of participants on our Porsche in the NSL and then didn’t drive after all.
“I would like to provide enlightenment here, I think I owe it to my/our fans!
“Since the end of 2017, I have been fighting an extremely persistent cancer that has not been eliminated with the resources so far. It got a little better – but now it’s come back with full force.
“Now I have to draw all the strength and nerve to master the next powerful therapies … hoping something [good] will happen. So I say goodbye ‘probably’ for the first time this season.
“In addition, I would like to thank everyone for their help and support in my everyday life, and encouragement in writing!
“So sweethearts, now you have an update. Please stay healthy and cheerful, see you at the ‘Ring.”