In the world of motorsport, there’s nothing that comes close to the Nürburgring. It’s undoubtedly the most technical and impressive racetrack in the world and nobody mastered it quite like the late Sabine Schmitz.
Throughout her racing career, Schmitz drove around the track, often dubbed “The Green Hell” more than 30,000 times and is even a two-time 24 Hours of Nürburgring champion (1996, 1997). She is the first and only woman in history to achieve such a feat and did so in a BMW M3 Group N. Schmitz later drove professionally for Porsche and earned a third-place podium finish for the German manufacturer in a #97 Porsche 997 at the 24-hour race event in 2008.
In December 2004, the “Queen of the Nürburgring” appeared on British motoring show Top Gear and helped its former presenter Jeremy Clarkson set a lap time of 9 minutes 59 seconds around the track in a Jaguar S-Type diesel. Driving that same car, Schmitz set a lap time of 9 minutes 12 seconds and a year later, challenged herself to beat the 10-minute mark in a Ford Transit diesel van. She missed Clarkson’s time by just nine seconds.
Sabine Schmitz was also named one of the new presenters of Top Gear’s 2016 reboot and appeared in several challenges on the show, which was helmed by then co-presenters Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc.
To celebrate her accomplishments over the years, our very own Tom Matthews has put together a special tribute dedicated to highlighting the extraordinary life of Sabine Schmitz while paying homage to one of her most iconic runs around the Nordschleife.
Available now in Forza Motorsport 7, this is the Ford Transit SuperSportVan Rivals Challenge. Anyone can participate whether they play on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S or Windows 10 PC and join us in celebrating the truly incredible legacy of Sabine Schmitz.
While the event itself doesn’t have a designated lap time to beat, Tom did set himself the goal of completing a lap around the ‘Ring in under 10 minutes. We won’t spoil the result for you here, so to find out if he was successful or not in this endeavour, you’ll have to watch the video and witness the lap for yourself.
It was heart-breaking for us to learn that Sabine had passed away on March 16th, 2021 at the young age of 51 after a more than three-year cancer battle. Therefore, all advertisement revenue from Tom’s video will be donated to Cancer Research to honour the “Queen of the Nürburgring.”