Born : May 14 1969
Deceased : March 16 2021
Biography Sabine Schmitz
As the daughter of a hotelier family from Nürburg, she grew up inside the Nürburgring and drove the Nordschleife, which is open to the public, in her mother’s car at an early age. Parallel to motorsport, she learned the profession of hotel manageress and sommelier. As Sabine Reck, she was married to a hotel owner and based in Pulheim. After the divorce, in the early 2000s, she ran the restaurant Fuchsröhre in Nürburg.Sabine Schmitz has held a pilot’s licence for helicopters since 2004; she cultivates another hobby as a rider on her own horse. In addition to motorsport, she runs the “Eifelranch am Ring” in Barweiler. In 2020, Schmitz announced that she had been suffering from cancer since 2017.
She won three rounds of the Nürburgring Circuit Challenge (until 2005: Castrol-HAUGG Cup), held on the Nordschleife, in 1990 and 1991, racing against the clock. After that, she raced in the BFGoodrich Endurance Championship. Like her sisters, she was active in the Ford Fiesta Mixed Cup, where she won the championship in 1992. Outside Germany, Schmitz was active in the Super Touring Car Cup South Africa in 1995 and in sports car races in Brazil in 1999.
In 1996, as Sabine Reck, she was the first woman to enter the winner’s list of a major all-day endurance race at the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring. The success was achieved in the team of Johannes Scheid from neighboring Kottenborn, in a Group N BMW M3 E36 3.2 liter. Schmitz repeated this victory in 1997. In 1998, still with Hannes Scheid, she became the first woman champion in the VLN (Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring). Claudia Hürtgen was the second woman to achieve this.
After a few years of little activity, she is once again active on the Nürburgring with a competitive car together with her life partner, meat manufacturer, and team sponsor Klaus Abbelen. Schmitz drives a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup, which, however, is entered in the SP7 class without the restrictions of the Cup class. In 2008, she finished third overall in the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife together with Klaus Abbelen, Edgar Althoff, and Kenneth Heyer in the Frikadelli-Porsche 911 GT3, behind the winning cars of 2007 and 2006.
After a VLN round was canceled in September 2008, Schmitz/Abbelen competed in the Rundstrecken-Challenge Nürburgring the following weekend, where they claimed their fourth overall victory. In the process, Schmitz set the fastest lap time ever achieved in this competition with a naturally aspirated car with 7:09 minutes. She improved this time to 7:07 minutes in another race of this series.
In 2013, she competed in the 41st ADAC Zurich 24h race at the Nürburgring for the Frikadelli Racing team in a Porsche 997 GT3R and finished the race in 16th place with her team. In 2014, the ADAC 24h race at the Nürburgring ended after retirement after only 41 laps (best time Frikadelli: 8:21.536). In 2015 their car, the Frikadelli Porsche GT3 R retired at the ADAC 24h-Race at the Nürburgring after 111 completed race laps alongside Patrick Huisman, Patrick Pilet & Jörg Bergmeister and was not classified. (Best time Frikadelli: 8:25.690). In 2016 she started at the ADAC 24h-Race at the Nürburgring for the Frikadelli-Racing Team in the new Porsche 911 GT3 R (991) alongside Klaus Abbelen, Patrick Huisman & Norbert Siedler.
According to their own estimates, they have completed about 20,000 laps on the Nordschleife by 2010, with an estimated increase of about 1200 per year. This large number of laps is due in no small part to the Ringtaxi used by BMW, which she drove around the Nürburgring for many years until 2010. Customers can book a lap as passengers in a BMW M5. Other well-known drivers of the Ring Taxi are Claudia Hürtgen and Hans-Joachim Stuck. Since 2010 she has been driving her own “Speedbee Racetaxi”, a Porsche GT3 RS.
In 2002, Sabine Schmitz appeared on international television for the first time when she took Jeremy Clarkson for the series Jeremy Clarkson: Meets the Neighbours in the Ringtaxi. In 2004, she again appeared alongside Jeremy Clarkson when she helped him complete the Nordschleife in a Jaguar S-Type Diesel in under ten minutes. When Clarkson finally managed to do this by a very narrow margin, she then commented that she would do this time in a van. In 2005, as part of another guest appearance on Top Gear, she actually attempted to break the time set by Jeremy Clarkson in a Ford Transit, but narrowly failed with a time of ten minutes and eight seconds.She then went on to co-host with Clarkson in September 2016.
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Pictures courtesy unknown and Porsche AG