Sabine Schmitz’s death in March 2021 sent shockwaves through the motorsport world, and almost immediately a petition was created to get a corner of the Nurburgring named after her. Now, the decision has been made: the first corner of the Nordschleife will be renamed the Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve in her honour.
Sabine Schmitz was the undisputed queen of the Nurburgring, having grown up in the village right in the middle of the track and racking up over 33,000 laps of the fearsome track. Many of those were behind the wheel of the ‘Ring taxis – a fleet of E60 BMW M5s introduced to show tourists around the circuit (and scare the living daylights out of them).
Famously, she also tried to hit a sub-10 minute Nordschleife lap in a Ford Transit van for Top Gear, but she also set the lap record for seven-seaters in the then-new Skoda Kodiaq vRS. That one’s perhaps less famous – and a record so obscure that it’s not been beaten since.
Schmitz was also the first – and only – woman to win the fearsome Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race, no doubt helped by her inch-by-inch knowledge of the track.
It seems that a corner being named after her was a case of when, not if. Once the petition had reached the Nurburgring bosses, they spent a few months working out which corner should bear her name. Sabine-Schmitz-Kurve will be the first corner of the Nordschleife circuit, the bit that doesn’t include the bottom Grand Prix circuit. The first one is a good choice, we think.
After Sabine’s corner, you head towards the Hatzenbach and Hoheneichen curves and the fast section of the Quiddelbacher-Hohe and Flugplatz. We suspect it might become one of the better-known corners of the track, up there with the main carousel that’s officially called the Caracciola-Karussell.
The new name will be officially unveiled on 11 September, during a six-hour race in the Nurburgring Endurance Series of races.
Are you pleased that a Nurburgring corner has been named after Sabine Schmitz? Let us know in the comments below.