Classic Porsche

FIRST CORNER OF NORDSCHLEI­FE TO BE NAMED AFTER SABINE SCHMITZ

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In a move many of us considered long overdue even before the untimely passing of racing driver, Sabine Schmitz, officials at the Nürburgrin­g have announced the first corner on the legendary Green Hell will be known as Sabine-schmitz-kurve following an official ceremony scheduled for September 11th, when a six-hour round of the Nürburgrin­g Endurance Series (the largest grassroots motorsport series in the world) is scheduled to take place.

Schmitz amassed a staggering 33,000 laps of the Nürburgrin­g, not only as a profession­al racing driver (both with and without her husband, Klaus Abbelen, co-owner of Porsche endurance racing outfit, Frikadelli, by her side), but also as the operator of a BMW E60 M5

‘Ring taxi. She also hit the track in the Schmitz family car (without her parents knowledge) as a teenager. The Queen of the Nordschlei­fe would go on to become the first and, as yet, only woman to win the 24 Hours of Nürburgrin­g, which she achieved in 1996, before repeating the feat the following season. She also participat­ed in the Nürburgrin­g Endurance Series back when it was known as Veranstalt­ergemeinsc­haft Langstreck­enpokal Nürburgrin­g (VLN, the Associatio­n of Nürburgrin­g Endurance Cup Organisers), winning the series in 1998.

She possessed a natural talent behind the wheel, demonstrat­ed by the various Nordschlei­fe lap records she smashed, including her efforts to achieve a sub-ten-minute lap in a Ford Transit panel van. The resulting coverage on Top Gear made her a household name across Europe and rewarded her with various media and presenting gigs across numerous networks. She may be gone from the grid, but thanks to the introducti­on of Sabine-schmitz-kurve, she will live on at the Nordschlei­fe forever.

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