Aunque Porsche has announced it on social networks as a surprise, it was planned that the Hollywood actor Michael Fassbender would be part of the team lineup Proton Racing of the category GTE Am at Test Day of Le Mans that will be disputed this Sunday.
In fact, the German has spent several years preparing to follow the path of Paul Newman or Patrick Dempsey and the one who also did Steve McQueen, although only on the big screen. As the legendary protagonist of ‘Le Mans’, Fassbender will drive for Porsche in the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year, season in which contest the WEC if there are no changes to the Stuttgart brand’s plans.
The actor, who has participated in such hits as ‘Damn bastards’, ‘Prometheus’, ‘Frank’, ‘Steve Jobs’, ‘Shame’ O ’12 years of slavery ‘ (these last two, curiously, under the direction of -another -… Steve McQueen) has now been three seasons preparing to perform at the highest level as an amateur driver. Tomorrow’s laps on the La Sarthe track will be his first turns on a mythical track… also associated with film actors in its nearly 100-year history.
Before settling in Europe Fassbender I already disputed in the United States the Ferrari Challenge In the 2017 season and since 2019 he has embarked on his Le Mans adventure under the official Porsche umbrella. He had a first appetizer with a test with the 919 Hybrid from LMP1, where I already demonstrated ways by being faster than … Patrick Dempsey (the last star to compete in the 24 Hours).
Since then he has contested the Porsche Sport Cup in Germany in 2019, an hour-long racing competition with cars with ABS to make the leap to the European Le Mans Series, already with the 911 RSR and together with ‘officials’ of the brand such as Christian Ried, Richard Lietz and Felipe Laser (who is his coach), the same event in which he is enrolled this season.
A “very professional” amateur
Roberto Gmez, engineer of Porsche Motorsport who was part of the technical team of the LMP1 project under the orders of Andreas Seidl, currently at McLaren F1, is supporting the Fassbender project through his team MST Racing Team, with which the actor complements the official Porsche program. In a talk with MARCA, the engineer reveals some of the personality details of which to be one of the protagonists of Le Mans 2022.
“He is a very competitive guy, who has improved a lot as a driver in the last three years. Obviously he lacks some experience because he cannot ride as much as his professional teammates,” he analyzes one of the technicians who best knows the qualities of the actor-pilot alemn.
Gmez believes that a long race like Le Mans will suit him better.: “Physically he can put up with what you throw at him. In that sense, for example, he is much better than Dempsey and any other of the gentlemen drivers. He lacks a bit more experience because he still has a few stupid bumps and at Le Mans the traffic can be difficult for him, but that’s why he’s going to be very good in the test this weekend. ”
But more than the technical part, what stands out about Fassbender is his personality… unconventional for what is expected of a Hollywood star: “It’s not that they’re good people, it’s just the following. Everyone loves him and he has earned that. He knows the names of all the mechanics, he always invites them to dinner at the races … he removes himself the stones of the basement if you have gone out onto the gravel and if you have to load wheels on the van or go to look for a part, take your car and leave … even if it is 12 at night “, reveals Gmez, who has lived multiple anecdotes of this type with the German.
Fassbender does not aspire to match the second overall for Newman in 1979, and perhaps not at 2nd in Dempsey’s GTE Am achieved in 2015, but what almost certainly to achieve is to fulfill the dream of participating that McQueen could never achieve … although his figure is part, almost indissolubly, of the Le Mans legend.