Published on June 20th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin0
Nurburgring To Name A Corner In Honour Of Sabine Schmitz
Turn 1 at the Nurburgring will soon officially be known as the Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve.
The Nürburgring has recently announced that it will be naming a corner of this legendary track in honour of Sabine Schmitz, who had unfortunately passed away earlier this year at just the age of 51 after losing her battle with cancer.
The very first corner of the track — the left-hander after the Grand Prix course meets the Nordschleife — will be named the ‘Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve’ in honour of the female German racing driver that has deservedly earned the title ‘Queen of the Ring’.
An official inauguration ceremony for the naming of the corner will be held on the 11th of September at the six-hour race of the Nürburgring Endurance Series. A race which Sabine had incidentally won back in 1998, when it was known as the VLN.
That was hardly the only race she won however, as the Nurburg native was also the first (and currently only) woman to win at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. In fact, she actually clinched the overall title at the Eifelblitz twice, in both 1997 and 1998.
Now some of the over 33,000 laps round the ‘Ring she had under her belt was behind the wheel of the BMW M5 ‘ring taxis’ too, that took paying passengers around the 20.8 km track. Though perhaps the most notable lap she has ever done was with an ordinary diesel Ford Transit van, for a rather well-known British motoring show called Top Gear.
Upon news of her untimely passing, a petition to name a corner of the Nürburgring after Sabine Schmitz was promptly set up and had garnered more than 13,000 signatures in its first 24 hours. A figure that eventually grew to over 50,000, which just goes to show how synonymous she was with the track and all its fans from around the world.
“Sabine Schmitz was the ambassador of the Nürburgring. Her name was mentioned around the globe in the same breath as our race track”, said Nürburgring Managing Director Mirco Markfort. “It is still stands for what defines the Nürburgring: the close connection to the region, the close proximity to the fans and the passionate commitment.”
PRESS RELEASE: Sabine Schmitz will remain part of the Nordschleife forever: The Nürburgring honours the former racing driver with her own corner on the legendary race track. The future “Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve” is the first corner of the Nordschleife on the outskirts of Nürburg. The racing driver grew up just a few meters away. Born in Adenau, she was closely linked to the race track in the Eifel region throughout her life and was regarded as its greatest ambassador. She was the first woman to win the famous 24h Race and is known worldwide as the “Queen of the Nordschleife”. Sabine Schmitz died in March of this year at the age of only 51.
A cheerful laugh, an open ear for every fan and the Nordschleife in the heart – that’s how Sabine Schmitz is remembered. Born and raised at the Nürburgring, she has spent most of her life around and on the Nordschleife. For more than 30 years she has successfully pushed vehicles to the limit here or even driven her grandmother over the track to the hairdresser. In total, there were more than 33.000 laps done. Sometimes at the wheel of the BMW ring taxi, sometimes with a van for the TV production “Top Gear” or in the Porsche of Frikadelli Racing. In 1996 and 1997 she won the 24h Race as the first and so far only woman – at that time in the legendary Eifelblitz.
She became known all over the world for her extraordinary friendly manner and her performances on the demanding race track. In many TV shows she brought the Nordschleife into the living rooms of the spectators. “Sabine Schmitz was the ambassador of the Nürburgring. Her name was mentioned around the globe in the same breath as our race track”, says Nürburgring Managing Director Mirco Markfort. “It is still stands for what defines the Nürburgring: the close connection to the region, the close proximity to the fans and the passionate commitment.”
Now Sabine Schmitz receives the greatest honour there is on a race track: her own corner. The choice fell on the left-hand curve, which is located on the outskirts of the community of Nürburg – where Sabine Schmitz grew up just a few metres away from the race track. After turning off the Grand Prix track, it is the first corner on the Nordschleife. The official inauguration of the “Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve” will take place as part of the 6-hour race of the Nürburgring Endurance Series on the 11th of September 2021 (ROWE 6 Hours ADAC Ruhr-Pokal-Rennen).