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Meet your TG TV presenters: Q&A with Sabine Schmitz

Say hello to TG's helicopter pilot, tractor driver and world record holder

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What’s your first car memory?

With my sisters on the backseat of my dad’s purple Ford Capri. He took the shortcut from Adenau to Nurburg on the Nordschleife. I can remember that I was really scared – first time in my life!

Who taught you to drive, in what… and did you pass first time?

My older sister taught me how to drive in my mum’s BMW 316i around the Nordschleife. I didn’t have a licence at that time, nobody really cared. On my 18th birthday, I got my licence without any problems. In fact, I tried to teach the driving instructor how to shift gears faster…

Tell us about your best car…

I love my Porsche GT3 RS 997, I used it as a ’Ring tool to drive passengers around the Nürburgring. It failed only once in five years.

Tell us about your worst car…

No comment…  just that it was British!

What’s your current daily car?

A Ford Ranger Wildtrak in orange.

What’s the car you most wish you’d owned?

McLaren F1 or Porsche Carrera GT. The McLaren because it was designed by Gordon Murray, and the Carrera GT because it looks great in matte black.

What was the best drive of your life, and why was it so special?

My second win of the 24h Nürburgring in 1997. It was a hard-won fight. I went in and out the pits nearly every lap to change wet tyres for slicks or the other way around. The fight was against Chris Nissen, a former Group C racer. He did the same with the pit stops, but when I was on slicks he changed to rain tyres. At the end, the sun was shining and I entered the pits for the very last stint – on very hard wets. Chris Nissen went out on slicks and, in that lap, it started raining again, very heavily. That really made my day…

What’s your favourite road?

The one without traffic!

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in a car?

Too late on brakes, several times…

What’s your favourite sitcom?  

I don’t watch much TV, but when I was young I watched Married… With Children quite a lot. In Germany it was called Eine schrecklich nette Familie.

Favourite band?


If you could buy just one car to last the rest of your life, what would it be?

Mustang V8.

Who’s your all-time favourite Formula One driver?

Ayrton Senna.

What car are you most looking forward to driving on TG?

A car which can drive, swim and fly!

Who will be quickest around the TopGear track?

The fastest will be the one and only Stig!

Who would be your dream guest for the next series of TopGear?

George Clooney.

What’s in your rider?

Cold beer!

What motorsport event would you most like to compete in?

I would love to have been in the first Grand Prix at the Nürburgring back in 1927!

Front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive?

Rear-wheel drive, for sure, but all-wheel drive on my tractor!

What else do you have a licence for?

Motorbikes and a Bell helicopter.

What’s your biggest fear/phobia?

Big hairy spiders.

What’s the fastest you’ve ever gone in a car and when?

350kph in my friend’s Ferrari F12 on the German autobahn.


Nascar, because I like the show and the noise. 

Who in history would you most like to have been driven by?

By Mr Bean in his Mini Cooper, especially on the roof sitting on a sofa! Legendary stuff…

You have to drive from NYC to LA, you have four seats, who’s in the car with you, what’s on the iPod and what’s in the emergency snack cubby?

I would share the car with three Moto GP Riders because they are always in a good mood. On the iPod, I would have Cologne carnival songs – they’re very funny and I can sing nearly every one. Oh, and our emergency snacks would be loads of cheese.

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