Michael Fassbender’s First Le Mans Doesn’t Go According To Plan

Fassbender? More like fender bender.

The German-Irish actor, best known for playing the Marvel supervillain Magneto in the X-Men film franchise, is also a bit of a gentleman racer… But his first go at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans was anything but gentle.


The 45-year-old, who has actively competed in high-level motorsport since 2016, was contesting the famous race for the first time with German team Proton Motorsport, behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 RSR-19 as part of the European Le Mans Series format.

It would have been a very special 24 hours for the Hollywood star – if he hadn’t had a nightmare run of it. Fassbender suffered not one, not two, but three crashes during the race: one during qualifying and two during the race itself in the evening.

To be fair, one of those crashes wasn’t his fault. Fassbender’s first crash during the race was because he was shunted off the track by a car on his inside, even though Fassbender was trying to give them room. The shunt sent him off the track, striking a barrier and beaching him on the gravel.

Michael Fassbender behind the wheel of the #93 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR-19. Image: Getty

Sadly, Fassbender would become one with the gravel later in the race too, losing control of the rear of the car around a tight turn and beaching the car a second time – infuriatingly, just inches from the tarmac. He needed a tow to get back on the track.

In the end, Fassbender and Proton teammates Matt Campbell and Zacharie Robichon finished 51st – not quite the bottom of the pile, but pretty close. Ah well. You’ve got to be in it to win it.

First across the line was the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 Hybrid hypercar, driven by former Formula 1 drivers Sébastien Buemi and Brendon Hartley plus touring car champ Ryō Hirakawa.

RELATED: How Much It Costs To Run A Formula 1 Race

Fassbender was previously the subject of a YouTube series by Porsche, called Road to Le Mans, chronicling his journey to compete in the hallowed race through the full 2020 European Le Mans Series.

On a lighter note, Fassbender is set to star in Next Goal Wins, an upcoming sports comedy-drama film directed by Taika Waititi, based on the real-life story of Dutch-American football coach Thomas Rongen’s efforts to lead the American Samoa national football team, considered the weakest football team in the world, to qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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