It’s not a shock knowing he counts Michael Schumacher as one of his heroes

Paul Newman. Steve McQueen. James Dean. Patrick Dempsey. Even Caitlyn Jenner when she was still Bruce Jenner. All these Hollywood stars have taken their talents to the track to varying degrees of success. Newman, for instance, competed at the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning his class and finishing second overall on board a Porsche 935 that sold last August for a whopping $4.84 million. Well, another actor is joining them in this exclusive club and he’s going to race for an automaker with arguably the most storied history in motor racing.

We may know him more as Magneto from the X-Men movie franchise, but Michael Fassbender is more than just an actor playing a mutant with a penchant for controlling metals. Now we can also call him a full-fledged race car driver after competing at a recent Ferrari Challenge series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. If the thought of seeing Fassbender in a Ferrari racing suit is jarring, we might as well start getting used to it because the 40-year old German actor showed enough potential to finish 11th in his class and 17th overall in his first race over the weekend. His pace them improved in the second race of the series where he finished sixth in his class and 14th overall. Moving forward, Fassbender is expected to compete in the next round of the North American Ferrari Challenge series, which will be held in Montreal from June 9 to June 11.

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2017 Ferrari 488 Challenge High Resolution Exterior
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The German actor completed Ferrari’s “Corso Pilota” driver training program last year

Some might scoff at the thought of seeing Hollywood actors compete in motor racing, believing that these stars are completely out of their element in a sport that they haven’t extensively trained for. I’m not one of those, though, because I appreciate the fact that these actors go out of their comfort zones to try something they’re not used to. Remember, it takes a lot of dedication to not only know what you’re doing inside a race car, but to actually compete at a high level and get the desired results out of it.

In Fassbender’s case, the German actor completed Ferrari’s “Corso Pilota” driver training program last year. That may not be enough credentials for others, but it was more than enough for Ferrari to give him a seat in the North American Ferrari Challenge series. And based on how he fared in his last race, it looks like all the lessons Fassbender learned during his time in the Corso Pilota driver training program has so far paid off.

Michael Fassbender Joins A Long List Of Hollywood Stars To Jump Into Motor Racing
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Expectations are going to be harder as he gets more races under his belt

Obviously, expectations are going to be harder as he gets more races under his belt. That’s usually what happens to Hollywood stars who compete in motorsports. The spotlight, as Patrick Dempsey will attest, will be on Fassbender to see how he does in his next race in Montreal. I’m not going to be making any judgments on that, but I’m confident that the 40-year old actor is going to do well enough to keep his new passion in motor racing burning.

Who knows, maybe we’ll see him and Dempsey in a race at some point in the future. Even better, maybe they’ll end up as teammates in a racing series or you know, Formula One. Okay, F1 is a little bit of a stretch but you know what Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

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