X-Men star Michael Fassbender takes on historic Rally of the Lakes

12th May 2020
Henry Biggs

Hollywood stars have had a long association with motor racing; Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and Patrick Dempsey spring immediately to mind. They are usually found at glamorous circuit races however, rather than dirty, gritty rally stages (although the above three are honourable exceptions having competed in the Baja 1000).

Now twice-Oscar nominated star Michael Fassbender has gone to the gravel side, taking part in the historic Rally of the Lakes in his native Ireland as the event’s ambassador.


Fassbender actually has good form on four wheels, having taken part in the Ferrari Challenge North America in 2017 and 2018, winning a race and finishing fifth overall in the latter season. Fassbender followed up with a season in the Porsche Super Sports Cup Germany 2019 but seemingly failed to get to grips with the rear-engined machines.

The Rally of the Lakes, held in Country Kerry since 1979 celebrated its 40th anniversary last year and Fassbender joined the event in a 350PS, rear-wheel-drive Ford Escort Mk2 with co-driver Barry Goodman.

But like an unobserved tree in a forest, if a Hollywood star does something without being filmed, does it really happen? So the actor also chose the opportunity to make a film, directed by his school friend Marco Conte, marking 40 years of the rally. It also follows the attempt by local duo Craig Breen and Paul Nagle to win the event in memory of Nagle’s father Maurice, who passed away in December 2018.


The Rally of the Lakes would have taken place this May Bank Holiday but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So Fassbender has chosen to release the three-part documentary to celebrate it and the local community.

Fassbender said: “All my early memories are around cars, it’s such an addictive hobby. I’ve always felt called to it. I hope people will enjoy the film and find ways to support the local events that mean a great deal to them during these uncertain times. Here’s to the next forty years of the Rally of the Lakes.”

You can watch the film in three parts, starting today, on the star’s VERO social media profile:

  • Rally

  • Michael Fassbender

  • Steve McQueen

  • Paul Newman

  • Patric Dempsey

  • Ford

  • Escort

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