Performance Shootout Sabine Schmitz

Tato Carello bravely made his M3 GT racer available for Sabine to try out.

make the car world such a fascinating place...

However, when confronted with such a disparate bunch of cars and the need to stick one's neck out and choose a few winners, there needs to be a consistent point of reference. We have two, in fact.

First, we drove all ten cars to the remote Pilanesberg Airport, where we encountered searing temperatures, a variety of "unscheduled" light aircraft activity and several other challenges - including heat stroke and a temperamental airport "chaperone" - to record straight-line acceleration and braking times, all using the same driver.

■ For the second "control" we

She's also been referred to as

"Queen of the Nurburgring" and "fastest taxi driver in the world" in reference to her title as the driver of the official BMW M5 Ring-taxi. She's also the first woman to win the Nurburgring 24-Hours. And she's done it twice, actually...

Sabine is a natural choice for our Shootout guest driver. Her work as a professional racing driver and motoringTV show presenter has given her vast experience of many different production cars. And her on-camera work, in particular, has honed her ability to come up with some painfully accurate and wonderfully honest and hilarious summaries of the

Good heavens, a woman driver then headed for the Zwartkops racing circuit, a magnificently maintained and challenging track, where our professional guest driver jumped in and pushed each car to the limit and beyond, before giving her expert opinions...

Yes, you read that correctly. I said "her" For the first time ever, the guest driver for the CAR Shootout is not only foreign, but also a member of the fairer sex. "Good heavens, a woman driver," I can hear some of you think. Well, allow me to tell you a little more about this particular lady...

Those of you who have heard of the Nurburgring Nordschleifein Germany will undoubtedly have heard of Sabine Schmitz, or Speedbee, as she's often called...

vehicles she is given to drive -Sabine certainly goes a long way to single-handedly consigning the "Germans have no sense of humour" theory to the "rubbish bin of life" theories.

"Life is too short to drive cr*p cars," she said within her first ten minutes on the job. Yes indeed, the Speedbee doesn't mince words...

So, buckle-up for a truly fun ride in ten of the most colourful characters of the automotive world, and on-going commentary by a larger-than-life superstar you can count on for saying it as it is even if we've had to bleep some of it out...

Hannes Oosthuizen

A successful businesswoman, television presenter, farmer,■ helicopter pilot, racer and our 2011 Shootout driver...

OUT of her race gear Sabine Schmitz is an unassuming blonde lass with a bright smile and an infectious laugh. But behind the wheel she's actually crazy. And I mean completely mental. She is clearly from the late-breaking school and had no issue scaring the pants off anyone who rode shotgun with her. Her full-throttle approach stretches beyond merely her racing career, as she proved to the CAR team by giving Die Campbell's tune "Rooi Rok Bokkie" a proper go. Never mind mastering the vuvuzela in five minutes.

Sabine was born in Nürburg,

BY: KELLY LODEWYKS

Germany and grew up in her mother's hotel situated in close proximity to the infamous Nürburgring.

Learning that Sabine grew up alongside the Nordschleife - the world's longest and toughest racing circuit - goes a long way towards explaining why she garners such respect from the CAR team, not to mention most of the world's motoring fraternity; she's formidable behind the wheel.

Here we talk to the star of our 2011 Shootout. We find out when she was bitten by the racing bug, which were her most memorable racing victories.

Ms Schmitz (formerly Reck) raced in the SA Touring Car championship in 1995.

n Watch Sabine in action on...

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