The Sabine Schmitz Curve was inaugurated on Friday evening at the Nürburgring. This means that the left-hand bend of the Nordschleife near Nürburg now officially bears her name. The unveiling of the new track section sign took place in the presence of her family. Born in Adenau, she was firmly associated with the race track throughout her life and was considered its best-known ambassador. She is the first female racing driver ever to be given her own curve at the Nürburgring in the circuit's over 90-years long history.
With her own curve, the Nürburgring places Sabine Schmitz in the ranks of its most influential personalities. Besides her, only three other sections of the track bear the names of racing drivers: Formula 1 record world champion Michael Schumacher, Rudolf Caracciola, the legendary winner of the inaugural race in 1927, and Stefan Bellof. The latter had set the eternal lap record at a race event on the Nordschleife some 40 years ago during training for the 1000-kilometre race.
The Sabine Schmitz Curve is located on the outskirts of Nürburg - the racing driver grew up only a few metres away from here. In addition, the location is quickly and easily accessible for spectators. Both were decisive criteria in the choice of the curve, because Sabine Schmitz had a unique bond with the fans and with her home. The curve will therefore also be a place of shared remembrance in the future.
The racing driver spent her entire life at and on the 20.832-kilometre Nordschleife. For more than 30 years, she drove vehicles here at the limit - 33,000 laps in total. With her driving skills and her open-hearted manner, she achieved worldwide fame and was for example part of the British car magazine "Top Gear", among others. She was the first and so far the only woman to win the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in 1996 and 1997. Sabine Schmitz died in March this year at the age of only 51.
It doesn't stay quiet for long in the new Sabine Schmitz Curve. From early Saturday morning, the drivers chase through the Green Hell at the six-hour race of the Nürburgring Endurance Series. A racing series in which Sabine Schmitz herself did her laps on the Nordschleife for decades.
Photo: The sign was unveiled in the presence of her family - Klaus Abbelen, Ursula and Beat Schmitz - and ring spokesman Alexander Gerhard (from right to left).