Sabine Schmitz, Racing Driver and 'Top Gear' Host, Dead at 51 After Cancer Battle

Sabine Schmitz attends the World Premiere of Series 28 of "Top Gear" at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on January 20, 2020 in London, England.
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

Rest in peace, Sabine Schmitz. The Top Gear host has died after a battle with cancer. She was 51. 

Top Gear confirmed Schmitz's death on Wednesday, noting that she had been fighting cancer for over three years. 

"Sabine was a beloved member of the Top Gear family and presenting team since 2016, having first appeared on the show in 2004, and everyone who had the pleasure of working with her on the team is in shock at this news," the show said in a statement. "Sabine radiated positivity, always wore her cheeky smile no matter how hard things got and was a force of nature for female drivers in the motoring world." 

"Like everyone else who knew her, we will truly miss her -- Sabine really was one of a kind," they added. "Our thoughts are with her partner Klaus, who was always by her side and who we welcomed to Dunsfold many times, and her family in Germany." 

Schmitz was known as the Queen of Nürburgring, as she won Germany's famous 24-hour touring car and GT endurance racing event in 1996 and 1997. 

Top Gear's former host, Jeremy Clarkson, mourned her death on Twitter. "Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans," he wrote. 

"Pioneer, champion, Queen of the Nurburgring," F1 tweeted. "Sabine Schmitz was a unique, much-loved and cherished member of our sport's family, and a force of nature for inspiring a new generation of motorsport enthusiasts. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time." 

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