Sabine Schmitz: Top Gear to air tribute to German driver and former presenter - how to watch

Former Top Gear presenter and German driver Sabine Schmitz became synonymous with the Nurburgring Nordschleife

The BBC will broadcast a special Top Gear tribute to former presenter Sabine Schmitz, who died last month.

Schmitz, who was also known as the Queen of the Nurburgring, had previously revealed she had been battling cancer since 2017.

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The BBC will broadcast a special Top Gear tribute to former presenter Sabine Schmitz, who died last month (Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Who was Sabine Schmitz?

Former Top Gear presenter and German driver Sabine Schmitz was known for being the only woman to win the Nurburgring 24 Hours, and became synonymous with the Nurburgring Nordschleife - a 14-mile circuit in Germany known for being the toughest in the world.

The driver won the 24-hour touring car race at the track twice, the first time in 1996 and the second in 1997, driving a BMW M3.

Schmitz had the nickname of "Queen of the Nurburgring", with it being estimated she had driven around the track over 20,000 times.

After her death in March, the Nurburgring wrote on Twitter: “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.”

Schmitz appeared on Top Gear in 2004, where she broke the ten-minute barrier around the Nordschleife in a diesel Jaguar S-Type before then attempting the same in a Ford Transit the following series. Schmitz then became a presenter on the show alongside Chris Evans in 2016 as part of a revamp of the programme.

When will the Top Gear Sabine Schmitz tribute be on TV?

The tribute to Schmitz, which is narrated by Zoe Ball, will be available on BBC iPlayer from 9pm on Sunday (4 April) after the series finale ends. It will also air on BBC One on Wednesday (7 April) at 7.30pm.

Current Top Gear presenters Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness will all be joined by former hosts including Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May, Rory Reid and Matt LeBlanc for the tribute.

Top Gear executive producer Clare Pizey said: “We send our heartfelt condolences to Sabine’s partner Klaus and her family whose loss is so much greater than ours.

“We had to pay a special tribute to Sabine as she was such a big part of our Top Gear family and we will never forget the joy we had working with and knowing her.”

Alex Renton, co-executive producer, said: “Sabine was part of Top Gear for over 15 years and it was no surprise that so many people who had worked with her over that period dropped everything to be a part of this tribute.

“She was so loved and will be greatly missed by us all.”