March of last year was a very sad month for those who love motor racing. Sabine Schmitz, the legendary Nürburgring racing driver who shot to fame thanks to her incredible racing career and time on Top Gear, passed away after a long battle with cancer. She was both an inspiration and a role model to everyone who watched her, and we still miss her painfully.
Stamping her name into the history of motorsport, she became the first and only woman to ever come first at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. On top of this she presenter Top Gear for a short while, and was a talented driver of the ‘Ring Taxi.
When she passed, fans wanted her to be commemorated in a way only she could be, so a petition was started for the famous German racing track to name a corner after her.
At the time, the track released the following statement:
“A cheerful laugh, an open ear for every fan and the Nordschleife in the heart – that’s how Sabine Schmitz is remembered. Born and raised at the Nürburgring, she has spent most of her life around and on the Nordschleife. For more than 30 years she has successfully pushed vehicles to the limit here or even driven her grandmother over the track to the hairdresser. In total, there were more than 33,000 laps done.”
Turn 13 was chosen, with it being nicknamed the “first curve of the Nordschliefe”, after 50,000 fans of the driver signed the petition. Now, a sign has gone up to celebrate the beloved driver at that corner. Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve was opened Septer 11th last year, but a photo of the corner has just been released to the public.
Nürburgring Managing Director Mirco Markfort said the following at the time:
“Sabine Schmitz was the ambassador of the Nürburgring. Her name was mentioned around the globe in the same breath as our race track.”
Now, her name will stay there forever.