Sabine Schmitz has died aged 51 following a battle with cancer.
Schmitz, who earned the nickname the ‘Queen of the Nurburgring’ after her prowess around the famous circuit, revealed last year that she had been battling cancer since 2017.
She became a well-known face in the UK after appearing on episodes of Top Gear alongside Jeremy Clarkson, before moving to a presenter role for the show more recently.
The announcement of her death was made by the Nurburgring Twitter account in a post that said: “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!”
Schmitz announced via social media last year that she was absent from the Nurburgring Endurance Series due to her ongoing battle with cancer.
In the post, she said that ‘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.”
Many well-known faces have taken to social media to celebrate Schmitz’s life, including presenters and racing drivers Chris Harris and Tiff Needell, as well as former Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy. Jeremy Clarkson stated that his former co-star was ‘such a sunny person’ and ‘always full of beans’.