The BBC has confirmed that Sunday’s episode of Top Gear will be dedicated to Sabine Schmitz, who has died at the age of 51.
The broadcaster also announced to Metro.co.uk that it is planning to film a separate tribute to the racing legend.
Top Gear stars and fans have paid their respects after Sabine, known as the Queen of the Nürburgring, died after a long battle with cancer.
Clare Pizey, Top Gear’s Executive Producer, said in a statement: ‘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 ‘Queen of the Nurburgring’, Sabine radiated positivity, always wore her cheeky smile no matter how hard things got – and was a force of nature for women drivers in the motoring world. Like everyone else who knew her, we will truly miss her – Sabine really was one of a kind.’
Clare 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.’
The Twitter account for the famous German racing track the Nürburgring broke the news of Sabine’s death this morning, saying: ‘The Nürburgring has lost its most famous female racing driver. Sabine Schmitz passed away far too early after a long illness.
‘We will miss her and her cheerful nature. Rest in peace Sabine!’
The Grand Tour host Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear star Paddy McGuinness have led the tributes for Sabine on social media.
Jeremy, who hosted Top Gear until 2015, said: ‘Terrible news about Sabine Schmitz. Such a sunny person and so full of beans.’
Paddy, who has starred on the show since 2016, said: ‘I spent a glorious couple of days in a Ferrari with Sabine and she hunted me down in a banger race. What a woman, what a legacy, what a life. Very sad news. RIP the great Sabine Schmitz.’
Top Gear is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
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