'Top Gear' paying tribute to Sabine Schmitz with special episode

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Top Gear presenter Sabine Schmitz answers media questions during the launch of the car show at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, which returns to BBC Two on May 29 at 8pm.
Top Gear presenter Sabine Schmitz answers media questions during the launch of the car show at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, which returns to BBC Two on May 29 at 8pm.

Top Gear is set to remember late star Sabine Schmitz with a special tribute episode. 

The racing driver, who was known as Queen of the Nürburgring, died last month at the age of 51 following a cancer battle.

Presenters past and present will be paying tribute in the half-hour special, with current hosts Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness being joined by former hosts including Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May, Rory Reid and Matt LeBlanc.

Read more: Top Gear fans emotional over hosts' tribute to their fathers

She had first appeared on the programme in 2004 alongside Clarkson and joined the presenting team in 2016 when the line-up was revamped. 

Top Gear executive producer Clare Pizey said: “We send our heartfelt condolences to Sabine’s partner Klaus and her family whose loss is so much greater than ours.

Top Gear presenters (left to right) Chris Harris, Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Chris Evans, Eddie Jordan and The Stig. (PA)
Top Gear presenters (left to right) Chris Harris, Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Chris Evans, Eddie Jordan and The Stig. (PA)

“We had to pay a special tribute to Sabine as she was such a big part of our Top Gear family and we will never forget the joy we had working with and knowing her.”

Meanwhile, Alex Renton, co-executive producer, said: “Sabine was part of Top Gear for over 15 years and it was no surprise that so many people who had worked with her over that period dropped everything to be a part of this tribute.

“She was so loved and will be greatly missed by us all.”

Schmitz spoke about her illness public last year as she explained her absence from the Nurburgring Endurance Series.

She said: "Since the end of 2017, I have been fighting an extremely persistent cancer that has not been eliminated with the resources so far.

Sabine Schmitz attends the
Sabine Schmitz attends the "Top Gear" World TV Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on January 20, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

“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.

Read more: Chris Harris went into therapy after criticism from Top Gear viewers

“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.”

Zoe Ball will narrate the episode which will be made available on BBC iPlayer from 9pm this Sunday (4 April) after the series finale and will air on BBC One on Wednesday 7 April at 7.30pm. 

Watch: Racing driver Sabine Schmitz dies aged 51

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