August 6, 2008
Lady Cab Driver coming to America
Posssibly the world's most famous taxi driver will be do some racing in the US in Grand-Am. She will be competing the Koni Challenge events at New Jersey Motorsport Park and Iowa speedway driving a VW GTI....
APR Motorsport has signed Sabine Schmitz, the winningest female endurance racer in the world, as a team driver. Schmitz will join the team for her first of two 2008 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series races this weekend at Iowa Speedway, co-driving the No. 181 APR Motorsport/Team Janica Racing VW GTI with Mark White. Schmitz will be filling in for Randy Pobst, who has a conflicting race.
In addition to her endurance successes, Schmitz is perhaps equally famous for her years as a BMW factory driver. The “Queen of the Ring” is believed to have more laps than any other driver on the famed Nordschleife over the past decade (she estimates a lifetime total of over 23,000 laps of the 14-mile circuit). Schmitz still works for BMW, driving the firms “Ring Taxi” many weekends of the year. When not on the Ring, Schmitz makes frequent guest appearances on the popular BBC Television program, Top Gear, often challenging the anonymous “Stig” to race, test cars and outrunning the hosts on the Ring. Additionally, Schmitz hosts her own weekly motorsports show called ‘D Motor”, on the DMAX Network, in her home country of Germany.
Schmitz was the first women in the world to win a major 24 Hour race, and is the only women in the world who has two 24 Hour titles to her name, along with countless VLN Series endurance wins (VLN is a German series comparable to the Rolex GT series).
Schmitz became fast friends with many at APR Motorsport via much testing and driving done by Pobst, Ian Baas, Mark White and Dion von Moltke as well as many of the APR staff at the Nordschleife over the past few years. When Pobst announced he couldn’t drive in two Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series races this season, it very quickly became clear Schmitz was both the team and co-driver White’s first choice.
“I am really excited to get the chance to race in KONI Challenge, in a German car with Mark White and APR Motorsport,” Schmitz said. “I have spent a lot of time with the APR Motorsport Team, as well as Mark over the years, including spending some time this past spring on the Nordschleife in a GTI race car. We all developed a great amount of respect and friendship for one another and I hope to do a good job for team, as filling Randy Pobst’s seat is not easy!”
“When we sat down and narrowed our choices as to who we’d like to put in No. 181 for these races, Sabine immediately rose to the top,” White said. “She is scary fast, something I know this first hand from our time on the ‘Ring together, and has a proven ability to keep a car in one piece, as evidenced by her endurance racing success. She also brings that ‘Rockstar’ quality, similar to Randy’s, and her presence will raise the whole team’s game. This weekend will be big fun and we should have a great shot at a podium finish!”
Schmitz is tentatively scheduled to compete with APR Motorsport at the Iowa Speedway and New Jersey Motorsports Park events