Nordschleife corner named after late Sabine Schmitz
Sabine Schmitz, the first female winner of the Nurburgring 24 Hours who passed away in March, will have a corner of the Nordschleife named after her.
Schmitz died in March this year at the age of 51 after a long battle against cancer.
A native of nearby Adenau, Schmitz became an immensely popular figure at the Nurburgring, becoming the first female winner of the Nurburgring 24 Hours in 1996 before taking a second win the next year.
She was also famous for her BMW Ring Taxi rides and helped promote the legendary German circuit with various TV appearances.
In total she is estimated to have completed over 33,000 laps of the full Nurburgring-Nordschleife, earning her the affectionate nickname 'Queen of the Ring'.
The Nurburgring has decided to honour Schmitz's life by naming a corner after her, the first left-hander of the Nordschleife having been renamed the Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve.
"Sabine Schmitz was the ambassador of the Nurburgring. Her name was mentioned around the globe in the same breath as our race track", says Nurburgring Managing Director Mirco Markfort.
"It is still stands for what defines the Nurburgring: the close connection to the region, the close proximity to the fans and the passionate commitment."
The circuit decided to rename the first corner of the daunting Nordschleife loop as it is located in Nurburg itself, which is where Schmitz grew up.
"The choice fell on the left-hand curve, which is located on the outskirts of the community of Nurburg – 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," a statement read.
The official inauguration of the Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve will take place at the 6-hour race of the Nurburgring Endurance Series on September 11, a championship she also won in its VLN guise in 1998.
In addition to her VLN exploits, Schmitz also made two guest appearances in the World Touring Car Championship at the Nurburgring, claiming two points finishes in 2015 and 2016.
In the UK Schmitz gained popularity with her appearances on Top Gear, where she set a hot lap of the Nordschleife in a Ford Transit van.
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