The power of the people.
In March of this year, we had to bring you the terrible news that Sabine Schmitz had died after a long and private battle with cancer. She was an inspirational figure in motorsport and was arguably best known for her exploits at the Nordschleife, where she copped the nickname "Queen of the 'Ring". Not only did she become the first woman - and the only to date - to win the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, but she also racked up thousands of miles driving the Ring Taxi, typically favoring various versions of the BMW M5. With so much experience at the track and a legacy that should never be forgotten, a petition was drafted to get a corner at the Green Hell named after her. Today, we bring you the happy news that this is now happening.
The Nurburgring's official website just announced the news with a glowing tribute:
"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 Nurburgring, 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."
Clearly, nobody deserves to have a corner at the iconic track named after them more. Perhaps BMW ought to bring out a special tribute version of the M5 too.
The corner chosen (turn 13) is the one that many recognize as the "first curve of the Nordschliefe", as it's the first corner you get to after turning off the Grand Prix track. Following 50,000 signings of the petition, this turn shall now be known as Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve and will be officially inaugurated at the six-hour race of the Nurburgring Endurance Series on September 11 this year.
Nurburgring Managing Director Mirco Markfort says, "Sabine Schmitz was the ambassador of the Nurburgring. Her name was mentioned around the globe in the same breath as our race track." She will be sorely missed but never forgotten. Forever Sabine.