Sabine Schmitz

Last updated
Sabine Schmitz
Sabine Schmitz.jpg
Schmitz, in 2007
Born (1969-05-14) 14 May 1969 (age 49)
Adenau, Germany
Other namesSabine Reck
Occupation Racing driver,
Television personality

Sabine Schmitz (Sabine Reck while married; born 14 May 1969) is a German professional motor racing driver for BMW and Porsche, also known for driving the BMW "ring taxi" around the Nürburgring race track as well as being a television personality. She has presented the BBC's motoring programme Top Gear since May 2016.

BMW automotive brand, manufacturer, and conglomerate

BMW AG is a German multinational company which currently produces automobiles and motorcycles, and also produced aircraft engines until 1945.

Porsche automotive brand manufacturing subsidiary of Volkswagen

Dr.-Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, usually shortened to Porsche AG, is a German automobile manufacturer specializing in high-performance sports cars, SUVs and sedans. Porsche AG is headquartered in Stuttgart, and is owned by Volkswagen AG, which is itself majority-owned by Porsche Automobil Holding SE. Porsche's current lineup includes the 718 Boxster/Cayman, 911, Panamera, Macan and Cayenne.

Nürburgring race track in Nürburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

The Nürburgring is a 150,000 person capacity motorsports complex located in the town of Nürburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It features a Grand Prix race track built in 1984, and a much longer Nordschleife "North loop" track which was built in the 1920s around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel mountains. The north loop is 20.8 km (12.9 mi) long and has more than 300 metres of elevation change from its lowest to highest points. Jackie Stewart nicknamed the old track "The Green Hell".

Contents

Born to the local hotel and restaurant owning Schmitz family, Sabine and her two elder sisters grew up in the "Hotel am Tiergarten" (in the basement of which is the Pistenklause restaurant) in Nürburg within the Nürburgring Nordschleife. [1]

Schmitz trained as Hotelfachfrau (graduate in hotel and catering business) and sommelière. During her marriage to a hotelier she lived in Pulheim, but after her divorce in 2000, up until 2003, she owned a bar-restaurant in Nürburg named the Fuchsröhre (Foxhole) after a track section. In 2004[ citation needed ] she qualified as a helicopter pilot. [2]

Sommelier person with proficiency in wine tasting

A sommelier, or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food pairing. The role in fine dining today is much more specialized and informed than that of a wine waiter. Sommeliers Australia states that the role is strategically on par with that of the chef de cuisine.

Pulheim Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Pulheim is a city in the Rhein-Erft-Kreis, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

Following occasional drives with the family car on the Nordschleife, all three sisters started racing, but only Sabine continued and collected victories. Schmitz won in CHC and VLN race events, the VLN endurance racing championship in 1998, and won the 24 Hours Nürburgring, in 1996 and 1997, all with a BMW M3 entered and co-driven by local veteran Johannes Scheid. In 2006 Schmitz and Klaus Abbelen drove the #97 Porsche 997 in the Nürburgring VLN endurance racing series, entered by Land Motorsport. They finished third in the 24h 2008, beaten only by the factory-backed Manthey-entered winners of 2007 and 2006.

24 Hours Nürburgring 24-hour annual touring car and GT endurance racing event

The 24 Hours Nürburgring is a 24-hour annual touring car and GT endurance racing event on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring in central Germany. Held since 1970, over 25 km (15.5 mi) lap length allows more than 200 cars and over 700 drivers to participate.

BMW M3 high-performance version of the BMW 3-Series.

The BMW M3 is a high-performance version of the 3 Series, developed by BMW's in-house motorsport division, BMW M GmbH. M3 models have been derived from the corresponding generations of the BMW 3 Series.

Klaus Abbelen Butcher, entrepreneur

Klaus Abbelen is a butcher master, an entrepreneur for meat products, and a race car driver.

Nürburgring

Schmitz came to mass public attention driving one of the two BMW M5 "ring taxis" around the 20.8 km-long race track in an entertaining manner.

BMW M5 High performance version of the BMW 5-Series

The BMW M5 is a high performance variant of the BMW 5 Series marketed under the BMW M sub-brand. It is considered an iconic vehicle in the sports sedan category. The majority of M5's have been produced in the sedan (saloon) body style, however the E34 and E60 generations were also available with a wagon (estate) body style in selected markets.

According to her own estimates, Schmitz has gone around the track more than 20,000 times, increasing by approximately 1,200 per year. Her familiarity with the circuit earned her the nicknames "Queen of the Nürburgring" and "the fastest taxi driver in the world". She says her favourite parts of the track are Schwedenkreuz ("Swedish Cross") and Fuchsröhre ("Fox Hole"). [3]

Her company, Nürburgring-based Sabine Schmitz Motorsport, offers advanced driver training and a "ring taxi" service for passengers. Schmitz herself ceased driving the "ring taxi" in 2011.

Television career

As a result of her popularity as "the fastest taxi driver in the world", and charisma, Schmitz became an occasional motorsport guest commentator, known for her gleefully dry descriptions of driving incidents. Since September 2006, Schmitz has co-hosted a motoring show on German television, D Motor on the DMAX TV channel. In each show, she takes on another challenge, for example Schmitz in a Ferrari 360 vs. a 1200 hp Race Truck, or Schmitz in a Formula Renault race car vs. a race sidecar. She has also appeared on 5th Gear.

Her first appearance on British television was on the 2002 BBC programme Jeremy Clarkson: Meets the Neighbours , where she took Clarkson around the Nürburgring in the "ring taxi".

Top Gear

In December 2004, Schmitz gained further recognition in the United Kingdom after appearing in the BBC television show Top Gear with presenter Jeremy Clarkson. After Clarkson (under her tutelage) set a lap time of 9 minutes 59 seconds around the Nürburgring in a Jaguar S-Type diesel (Season 5, Episode 5), she castigated his best lap with the comment "I tell you something, I do that lap time in a van". She did a lap in the Jaguar S-Type, and set a time of 9 minutes 12 seconds, beating him by 47 seconds. When trying to film Schmitz as she drove the S-Type, the film crew were unable to keep up, and had to get Jaguar test driver Wolfgang Schubauer to drive the Jaguar S-Type R chase car. [4] Schmitz drove a Ford Transit diesel van in an attempt to beat Clarkson's time set in the Jaguar S-Type diesel. Her final time with the Transit was 10 minutes and 8 seconds (Series 6, Episode 7).

In March 2015, The Guardian featured a satirical article calling for Schmitz to be the new presenter of Top Gear in order to gracefully cancel the show, concluding that "She has appeared from time to time on Top Gear in the past, and shown herself to possess exactly the right mix of knowledge and boisterousness for the job every time. Plus, she is both German and a woman, a combination of traits so alien to the majority of Top Gear viewers that the whole show would probably self-destruct within an hour of her taking the job. And surely, at this point, that would, as they say, be the best outcome for everyone involved." [5]

In December 2015 The Daily Telegraph reported that Schmitz had been selected as a presenter on the revamped Top Gear. This was later confirmed by the BBC in February 2016, along with the announcement of several new presenters for the show. [6]

Race results

Complete World Touring Car Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

YearTeamCar123456789101112131415161718192021222324DCPoints
2015 All–Inkl.com Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 ARG
1

ARG
2

MAR
1

MAR
2

HUN
1

HUN
2

GER
1

10
GER
2

11
RUS
1

RUS
2

SVK
1

SVK
2

FRA
1

FRA
2

POR
1

POR
2

JPN
1

JPN
2

CHN
1

CHN
2

THA
1

THA
2

QAT
1

QAT
2

23rd1
2016 All-Inkl.com Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 FRA
1
FRA
2
SVK
1
SVK
2
HUN
1
HUN
2
MAR
1
MAR
2
GER
1

10
GER
2

11
RUS
1
RUS
2
POR
1
POR
2
ARG
1
ARG
2
JPN
1
JPN
2
CHN
1
CHN
2
QAT
1
QAT
2
22nd1

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References

  1. "Ben Lovejoy's Ringers FAQ". Nurburgring.org.uk. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  2. McGrath, Ronan (6 July 2010). "The Queen of the 'Ring: Sabine Schmitz will not slow down". AutoWeek . Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  3. "Sabine Schmitz talks to AUSringers". ausringers.com. 31 January 2008. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  4. "Jaguar S-type diesel at the ring". Top Gear . BBC. 2011-02-07. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  5. Heritage, Stuart (24 March 2015). "Who could replace Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear?". The Guardian .
  6. Boyle, Danny (23 December 2015). "Top Gear presenters: Virtually unknown Chris Harris and Sabine Schmitz 'to be Chris Evans' sidekicks'". The Daily Telegraph .

Video footage