MICHAEL Fassbender is gearing up to take part in this year’s edition of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS), with the goal of racing at the famous Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Prometheus, X-Men: Dark Phoenix and Steve Jobs star will race in a 2017-spec Porsche 911 RSR, for the Proton Competition team, a German outfit.
Fassbender, 43, began his journey to the famous 24-hour race at the Porsche Driving Experience. The entry-level programme for racing enthusiasts includes training sessions with a 485 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. He then advanced to the Porsche Racing Experience, receiving a bespoke training programme with three consecutive levels and races as part of the Porsche Sports Cup.
Last year he completed Level 2 of the Porsche training programme, which involved competing in an entire season of the Porsche Sports Cup Deutschland driving a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
In a press release from Porsche, the actor said: “Even before I started acting I had a big dream to go racing. It was clear to me at a young age. My father was an avid driver and he taught me a lot.”
The German-Irish actor’s progress has been chronicled in a video series called Michael Fassbender: Road to Le Mans series on Porsche’s YouTube channel. A second season of the series will air at the end of 2020.
In the trailer for the first series, Fassbender says: “I’ve just always felt drawn to going fast into a corner and and fast out, and just naturally felt connected to it. Now I want to go to the ultimate place.
“I think it’s the history of the place, I think it’s the drivers who have crashed there, competed there, won there. To be a part of that would be, you know, unbelievable. And this is the beginning of it.”
Like all motor sport, the ELMS calendar was heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic, forcing the postponement of the beginning of the season. A new schedule has been released, with the first race happening at Le Castellet in southeastern France on July 19, providing sanitary conditions and government regulations allow it.
The season will then head to Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on August 9, then to Barcelona at the end of the month. A break will precede the rescheduled 24 Hours of Le Mans, on the weekend of September 19. Races in Monza and Portimão will round off the season, on October 11 and November 1 respectively.
Fassbender will share the cockpit of the #93 car with Austrian Porsche works driver Richard Leitz and German driver Felipe Fernández Laser. The 911 RSR uses a six-cylinder boxer engine and can muster approximately 503bhp, depending on restrictors.
Fassbender may not be the only X-Men alumnus to get involved in the world of motor racing, with co-star Hugh Jackman reportedly in talks to play the iconic Enzo Ferrari in an upcoming biopic.