Sabine Schmitz, the only woman to win the 24 Hours of Nurburgring race, has died at the age of 51.
The so-called ‘Queen of the Nurburgring’ had been fighting a rare form of cancer since 2017.
She was best known in the UK as a presenter of Top Gear, first in 2006 and then again when the show was revamped 10 years later.
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Her fellow presenter Jeremy Clarkson has described her as “such a sunny person”, while Richard Hammond called her a “proper driving legend”.
"The Nurburgring has lost its most famous female racing driver”, said a statement from the circuit.
"Sabine Schmitz passed away far too early after a long illness. We will miss her and her cheerful nature. Rest in peace Sabine!"
Schmitz won her first 24 Hours of Nurburgring title in 1996 with Johannes Scheid and Hans Widmann and followed that up with another victory the year later with Scheid, Hans-Jurgen Tiemann and Peter Zakowski.
The German then started her own team, Frikadelli Racing, which she founded with her husband Klaus Abbelen.
Motorsport’s governing body, the FIA, has sent its condolences, while Formula 1 has called her an “incredible talent and wonderful person who made us all smile.”
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