Maybe she isn’t one of the top-class drivers in Germany, but SabineSchmitz is without any doubt one of the best known German drivers. She's especially known by her connection with the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife, where she made thousands of laps driving a Ring Taxi, earning her a nickname the Queen of the Nürburgring.
The highlights of her racing career are two overall victories at 24 Hours of Nürburgring in 1996 and 1997, in both occasions in Scheid Motosport's BMW M3. In 1998, she and Johannes Scheid were the VLN Endurance Series champions.
Born and raised at Nordschleife
This extraordinary lady was born in May 1969 in Adenau, a village in High Eifel region in Rhineland-Palatinate, near the legendary Nurburgring circuit. Her family owned the hotel within the circuit so she had a perfect chance to learn Nordschleife by heart.
Sabine studied hospitality, and she was even an owner of the popular restaurant ’The Foxhole’ at Nurburgring, but driving always attracted her. Together with her two elder sisters she has competed in some of the local racing events, but only she stayed in the sports for good. Interestingly, she made her first lap at Nordschleife without a licence and driving a ’stolen’ car. When she was 15, Sabine took her mother’s car to taste what nearby Nurburgring offers.
VLN champion and first woman to win 24 Hours of Nürburgring
In the late 1990s, Schmitz achieved some very noticeable results. Knowing the ’Green Hell’ like her pocket, she won Nurburgring 24 Hours race twice, in 1996 and 1997, becoming the first woman to win a major 24h race.
In both occasions, she did that in Scheide Motorsport's BMW M3. Johannes Scheid was her co-driver in both races. In 1998, Sabine and Scheid became the VLN Endurance Series champions.
Video - A lap at Nürburgring with Sabine Schmitz
Sabine drove more than 30 thousand laps in Ring taxi
She became famous for driving the so-called ’Ring taxi’. In the seat of her BMW M5, Sabine drove all who wanted to feel the invaluable experience of driving on one of the most famous and most dangerous circuits in the world.
It is estimated that Schmitz drove more than 30.000 laps on the 20.81 km long Nürburgring circuit. Over the years, Sabine earned many nicknames but ’Queen of the Nürburgring’ is definitely the best known.
Schmitz with her famous Ring taxi
A dear guest on many TV stations
Her popularity has grown rapidly, not only because of her racing skills. Sabine Schmitz is eloquent and charismatic person and that is a perfect precondition for many TV stations to offer her job of guest commentator for racing events, but also to be a host of some shows about cars and motorsports.
Conquering the world with Top Gear TV show
In the same time, she became famous beyond the borders of German spoken countries. She became famous worldwide after appearing in the famous BBC’s show Top Gear, confirming herself again as an excellent driver and connoisseur of racing, as well as the person who is almost perfect for that kind of TV shows. Late in 2015, Sabine has been selected to become a part of new star presenters group of the popular Top Gear show.
"I grew up next to the Nürburgring, and have been racing for most of my life, so the chance to combine both driving and filming was too good an opportunity to pass up“, commented Sabine after it was confirmed that she will become a part of the world’s most popular TV show about the cars.
Schmitz as a member of the new Top Gear presenters
Debut in the WTCC and Daytona 24 Hours
In the meantime, Sabine Schmitz ended her ’Ring taxi’ adventure, and concentrated more on her work on TV, although she occasionally appeared in the selected races of various competitions. In 2015, for example, she made a guest appearance in the FIA World Touring Cars Championship, racing in ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport’s Chevrolet at Nurburgring and earning a point in the first race.
In 2016, Sabine Schmitz debuted in another famous endurance race, 24 Hours of Daytona, racing in her favorite car, a new Porsche 911 GT3 R for Frikadelli Racing.
In 2015, Sabine was a guest driver in WTCC event at Nurburgring