Top Gear star Sabine Schmitz has died at the age of 51.
The German presenter and racing driver, who was known as the "Queen of the Nurburgring", had been battling cancer since 2017.
Schmitz’s fellow Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson was among those to pay tribute, saying she was “such a sunny person”.
The sad news was announced on Twitter by the German racing track Nurburgring.
The Nürburgring 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! pic.twitter.com/MFKNNFOSDU
— Nürburgring (@nuerburgring) March 17, 2021
“The Nürburgring has lost its most famous female racing driver,” the post said.
“Sabine Schmitz passed away far too early after a long illness. We will miss her and her cheerful nature.
"Rest in peace Sabine!”
Clarkson tweeted: “Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans."
Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans.
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) March 17, 2021
Top Gear star Paddy McGuinness posted: “She gave me pointers on how to drive a Ferrari very fast and hunted me down in a banger race.
"Brilliantly bonkers and an amazing human being!
"RIP the great Sabine Schmitz.”
She gave me pointers on how to drive a Ferrari very fast and hunted me down in a banger race. Brilliantly bonkers and an amazing human being! RIP the great Sabine Schmitz. pic.twitter.com/awtbOnMD90
— Paddy McGuinness 💙 (@PaddyMcGuinness) March 17, 2021
Chris Harris, also a presenter on the motoring show, shared a picture of the pair hugging and wrote: “Rest in peace you wonderful, powerful, hilarious person.”
Schmitz first appeared on Top Gear in 2004 and became a regular presenter on the programme in 2016, after it was revamped.
Rest in peace you wonderful, powerful, hilarious person. pic.twitter.com/nwXgBwZsbE
— chris harris (@harrismonkey) March 17, 2021
In 2020 she revealed her cancer diagnosis in a post on Facebook.
Explaining why she didn't take part in a race, she told fans: “Many of you must have wondered why I was on the list of participants on our Porsche in the NSL and then didn't drive.
"I would like to provide information here, I think I owe it to my / our fans!
"Since the end of 2017, I have been fighting an extremely persistent cancer, which has not been able to deal with the means to date.
"It got a little better - but now he's come back full force.
"Now I have to draw all the strength and registers to powerfully overcome the next therapies... hoping that something will happen."
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