We reported last December that Nurburgring queen Sabine Schmitz might be hosting Series 23 of Top Gear alongside Chris Evans and Chris Harris, but now comments from the woman herself has cast some doubt over whether this is the case. Schmitz has hinted that she might not be a host, in an interview at this past weekend’s 24 Hours of Daytona race with IMSA Radio’s Joe Bradley.
Schmitz drove a Porsche 911 GT3 R at the 2016 Daytona 24 with Frikadelli Racing after there was some doubt she would be able to participate due to alleged filming commitments with Top Gear. Frikadelli Racing team owner Klaus Abbelen let slip that Schmitz was working with Top Gear, in an interview with Sportscar365 at the Roar Before the 24 practice session.
Schmitz and IMSA Radio’s Joe Bradley spoke in a pit lane interview Sunday morning at Daytona.
Bradley: “Now you’re going to be very busy, uh, filming… I’m from the UK, so I’m going to see you on my TV screen in the new Top Gear program. How’s things going with that?”
Schmitz: “Oh sorry, no comment.”
Bradley: “Oh really! You’re not allowed to tell us?”
Schmitz: “You know, I’m all the time with Top Gear, but not as an, um, host.”
Her comment could be referencing her various non-hosting appearances on the Jeremy Clarkson-iteration of Top Gear, or her involvement with the new iteration, but her line about not being a host is news to us. Schmitz and confirmed host Chris Evans were spotted filming in California with an Audi R8 V10 Plus last month.
If this is the case, it could back up what Chris Evans said last year about Top Gear abandoning the traditional three-host format. Schmitz is all but confirmed to be involved with Top Gear in some capacity, though it’s unclear precisely how she will be involved. It’s entirely possible that her role in the show isn’t yet set either. We’ll know for sure when the new series premieres in May.
The complete archived Schmitz interview with Bradley which starts on this Radio Le Mans podcast, which begins 59 minutes into the episode.