Michael Fassbender has been nominated for two Oscars, worked with legendary directors like Ridley Scott and Danny Boyle, and found success in both serious biopics and comic book blockbusters. But one of the actor’s biggest goals had always eluded him: racing at Le Mans.
That is set to change this weekend, as Fassbender is currently competing in the legendary endurance race for Porsche, the longtime patron of his amateur racing career. The actor is driving a Porsche 911 RSR -19 alongside Canadian driver Zacharie Robichon and Porsche factory driver Matt Campbell.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the most iconic traditions in all of motorsports, taking place in Le Mans, France each year. The race is notable for having a fixed time, rather than a fixed distance. Instead of racing to complete a course in the shortest possible time, driving teams have 24 hours to drive as far as they possibly can. Whichever team covers the most distance is named the winner.
Fassbender has always been passionate about racing it, saying it was his “first dream” before he ever discovered acting. In recent years he has been increasingly active as an amateur race car driver for Porsche, competing in several four hour endurance races as well as two Supercup races. “It was always very clear to me from a young age,” Fassbender said in a 2020 press release. “I always felt an affinity with cars, I felt a connection with driving and speed.”
“Michael Fassbender has decided to take up the challenge, and I’m impressed by how he has gone about it, taking each step as it comes in preparation for Le Mans,” Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest that organizes the race, told the New York Times. “He is approaching the race with tremendous determination, and I expect he’ll put in a great performance.”
While racing at Le Mans is quite the honor, Fassbender’s successful side hustle as a racecar driver has not hindered his acting career. Later this year he is set to appear in Taika Waititi’s soccer comedy “Next Goal Wins,” and he’ll also appear alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the upcoming “Kung Fury 2.”