Schmitz grew to become the primary girl to win the Nurburgring 24 Hours in 1996, taking two victories within the historic sportscar race earlier than having fun with an extended profession intrinsically linked to the circuit, in addition to changing into identified for her options on BBC programme Prime Gear.
In a press release issued by Frikadelli Racing – the staff she based together with her husband Klaus Abbelen – it was introduced that Schmitz had misplaced her lengthy battle in opposition to most cancers and died on the age of 51 on Tuesday.
“Sabine Schmitz (14.5.1969 – 16.three.2021) handed away yesterday (Tuesday) after her courageous battle in opposition to most cancers,” the staff wrote on social media.
“She was 51 years outdated. Klaus Abbelen and all relations and associates are deeply saddened by the immeasurable loss.”
Schmitz made historical past on the Nurburgring as the primary feminine total winner of the 24-hour race in 1996 earlier than taking a second victory the next yr.
She broke additional floor in 1998, when she turn out to be the primary girl to win the VLN Endurance Championship title in Germany.
Having grown up in Nurburg, it was maybe inevitable that Schmitz’s profession could be constructed on her success on the Nurburgring. Apart from her sporting feats there, she was a driver of the ‘Ring Taxi’ for a few years, and estimated she had accomplished greater than 30,000 laps of the circuit.
Schmitz additionally made two visitor appearances within the World Touring Automobile Championship on the Nurburgring, recording two factors finishes in 2015 and 2016.
“The Nürburgring has misplaced its most well-known feminine racing driver,” the observe wrote on social media. “Sabine Schmitz handed away far too early after an extended sickness. We’ll miss her and her cheerful nature. Relaxation in peace Sabine!”
In 2017, Schmitz revealed that she had been identified with most cancers, and regardless of efforts to make a return to racing in 2020, she mentioned it had returned in “full drive” and was proving “extraordinarily persistent”.
Schmitz was best-known to British motorsport followers by way of her appearances on Prime Gear on the Nurburgring, the place she coached Jeremy Clarkson in a characteristic on the circuit earlier than making an attempt to beat his lap time in a Ford Transit van. She went on to turn out to be one of many recurring hosts of Prime Gear in 2016.
“Horrible information about Sabine Schmitz,” wrote Clarkson on social media. “Such a sunny individual and so filled with beans.”