Hollywood star Michael Fassbender is back in action this week – for the third round of the European Le Mans Series.
Two weeks ago he shared a race track with Formula One Grand Prix stars like Lewis Hamilton for the first time.
The Fossa-raised Hollywood star who has appeared in ‘Inglourious Basterds’, ‘12 Years a Slave’, and ‘X-Men’, tackled round six of the international one-make Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup championship near Barcelona, Spain on August 16.
The championship is part of a series of support races that run alongside all F1 Grand Prix.
This was the biggest event that he has tackled, so far, in his fledgling professional motor racing career. He is also contesting the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) in a 510-horse power Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche customer squad Proton Competition and this weekend’s race is the third round of that series .
His dream is to race in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans in France next June.
In an interview, which the Killarney Advertiser and Kerry Motorsport News was given exclusive local access to, Fassbender shared how he got into motor racing, how he balances his acting profession with this hobby, and what his next motorsport goal is with Porsche.
Where does your passion for cars come from?
“My father was always a keen driver; he taught me how to drive. So at a young age, I was lucky enough to be allowed in the car. When I was 12, I was allowed to play around on my own on a private road. There was a housing complex with a long straight and a kind of horseshoe bend at the end with another long straight. I always tried to go as fast as I could on the straight and take that hairpin as fast as I could.”
Did that spark your interest in motor racing?
“I guess. My first dream has always been to go racing. Even before the acting. It was always very clear to me from a young age. I always felt an affinity with cars, I felt a connection with driving and speed.”
How did you get involved with Porsche Motorsport?
“My first contact with Porsche Motorsport was actually Patrick Dempsey (actor and co-owner of Proton Competition) on a flight from London to Los Angeles. I was following motorsports and I was congratulating him on a good result at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We just started talking about getting into racing. And then he made the contact to Porsche Motorsport. My first step was the Porsche Track Experience. Then came the Porsche Racing Experience and a season in the Porsche Sports Cup Deutschland.”
How do you manage to combine your hobby racing with your acting profession?
“It’s pretty hard to do both things because obviously it’s difficult to get insurance on a film if I do racing at the same time. So for me, there is the race season and then there are months to do acting. But I always had a plan that at 40 I would sort of ease off the acting and try to get into racing.”
Your dream is to contest next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. How are you preparing for this iconic race?
“Last weekend’s race in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is part of my personal ‘Road to Le Mans’. I also drive a Porsche 911 RSR for Proton Competition at the long distance races of the European Le Mans Series. I share the car with Porsche factory driver Richard Lietz and Felipe Fernández Laser.
What are you hoping to achieve?
What do I expect? Well, the goal is to win. To be as fast as I possibly can, and that’s the goal. But the 24 hours of Le Mans is a team effort, so together with the team to achieve a class win at Le Mans is the goal.”