Scores pretty well for a rookie, too.
Michael Fassbender last weekend stripped out his crimson Magneto costume from the latest trilogy of X-Men movies and slipped into a Rosso Corsa and white jumpsuit for a race at the U.S. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the Ferrari Challenge series.
“From a very early age I idolised Ferrari and its champion, Michael Schumacher, in particular, so now racing in the Ferrari Challenge brings that dream full circle,” the actor said in Ferrari's announcement of his participation in the race.
Ferrari has now released provisional results for the two races at Laguna Seca over the weekend. Fassbender started in 17th place out of 25 cars, and he had a qualifying time of 1:31.691, versus 1:27.753 from Marc Muzzo in first. Fassbender finished 11th in his class and 17th overall. In the second race, he managed 6th in class and 14th overall. Pretty decent stuff for a Ferrari rookie.
Fassbender completed Ferrari’s Corso Pilota driver training program last year. He’ll now compete in the North American Ferrari Challenge series. The next round will be in Montreal at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve from June 9 through 11.
Some classes in the North American Ferrari Challenge are now using the 488 Challenge race car. Based on the road-going model, it uses a biturbo 3.9-litre V8 with 661 horsepower. There’s still a separate class for competing in the the older 458 Challenge Evo, too.
Fassbender joins a cadre of Hollywood stars who enjoy being on the track when they aren't in front of the camera. Paul Newman and Steve McQueen remain famous for their racing exploits. These days, Patrick Dempsey is nearly as well known as a driver as he is as an actor. Even Patrick Stewart, captain of the Starship Enterprise, likes to lap a circuit as a hobby, too: see him in action at the Silverstone Classic this summer.
Gallery: Michael Fassbender Ferrari Challenge
Actor Michael Fassbender Races with Ferrari
Laguna Seca Raceway, Salinas, CA – May 15, 2017 – Known across the globe for starring roles in films including “Alien: Covenant,” “Steve Jobs,” “Twelve Years a Slave” and “Assassins’ Creed,” actor Michael Fassbender has stepped into the real-time role of racecar driver as he successfully completed the first round of the 2017 Ferrari Challenge racing series. A lifelong fan of Ferrari and Formula 1, Fassbender began his training with Ferrari’s “Corso Pilota” driving program last year.
“Ferrari is defined by racing, and training with the Ferrari team gave me a great foundation to hone my skills behind the wheel of the 488 Challenge race car,” says Fassbender. “From a very early age I idolized Ferrari and its champion, Michael Schumacher, in particular, so now racing in the Ferrari Challenge brings that dream full circle,” he continues.
“Perhaps nothing better illustrates Ferrari – the ethos of the company, its commitment to racing and to its clients – than the Ferrari Challenge,” says Edwin Fenech, President & CEO, Ferrari North America. “It is here at the track where we develop the technologies which underpin our road cars, and this transfer of knowledge between road and track has defined Ferrari since its inception seventy years ago,” Fenech continues.
A single-model championship series developed by Ferrari for clients who have a passion for racing, the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli has thrilled drivers and fans alike since its inception in 1992. The Challenge is run in three divisions– Europe, Asia, and North America – and is an ideal platform for drivers who have a passion for racing, some of whom go on to compete in international GT championships like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Fassbender will compete in the North American Ferrari Challenge series.