On Friday 3rd February, the stars of Formula 1™ and racing enthusiasts gathered for the 5th annual ZOOM Charity Gala Auction at London’s InterContinental Park Lane Hotel in aid of Starlight Children’s Foundation, a national charity that provides entertainment in hospitals and hospices across the UK and grants wishes-of-a-lifetime for seriously and terminally ill children.


A selection of photographs taken and signed by F1™ drivers and team principals were auctioned in front of a star-studded audience by Chris Routledge, managing director of COYS, and raised over £24,737 for Starlight.

neuschwansteiner-partner-zoom-starlight-childrens-foundation-charity-formula-1-08The biggest sellers from the evening were photos taken by Graeme Lowdon, Bernie Ecclestone and Lewis Hamilton. This year’s most generous bid so far was for a photo taken by Graeme Lowdon of a sketch he did of Jenson Button and raised £2,000.

Notable attendees from the world of F1™ who turned out to support the event included Jolyon Palmer, Anthony Hamilton and Nicki Shields as well as celebrities Heather Small, Lizzie Cundy and Stephanie Pratt.

The remaining lots have been entered in the ZOOM online auction which is now live. The online auction enables fans around the world to bid for photographs taken by their favourite drivers and Formula One™ personalities. This includes photos from drivers such as Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz and Martin Brundle.

neuschwansteiner-partner-zoom-starlight-childrens-foundation-charity-formula-1-11This is the first year that ZOOM has supported Starlight and it has proved to be the perfect partnership. Starlight has a long-standing relationship with Formula 1™ and every year the charity takes a group of Starlight Wish children to the Monaco Grand Prix™ to meet the drivers and soak up the atmosphere.

Christian Sylt, co-founder of ZOOM, said, “I’d like to thank everyone who made the fifth ZOOM event possible – the teams, drivers and everyone else who took a photo, Bernie Ecclestone, our sponsors, the guests and, of course, Starlight. We’re very proud to help them continue to make dreams come true for sick children.”

Neil Swan, Chief Executive of Starlight, said, “We’re delighted that the auction raised over £24,000 for Starlight and we would like to say a huge thank you to ZOOM for choosing to partner with us! We also want to thank the F1™ community and everyone that attended the event for their generous support. 


“The money raised will be used to brighten the lives of Starlight’s seriously ill children by helping to grant wishes-of-a-lifetime and provide a year-round hospital entertainment programme to distract children from the pain and isolation often caused by their illness and giving both them and their families happy memories, whatever the future may hold.”


Christian Seitz, CEO and Founder of Neuschwansteiner, said: “We congratulate our partner Zoom and are proud to support this great children dedicated charity for the third consecutive time. Once again, the London gala event where Neuschwansteiner was the official beer partner, turned out to be great success, raising valuable funds to help children. Well done!”

The remaining lots have been entered in the ZOOM online auction which is now live at www.coys-zoom.co.uk.

Peter Secchi
David Richards

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Photos curtesy of ZOOM, Ralph Hartwick/Sutton Images and Neuschwansteiner-Sutton

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Neuschwansteiner by Günter Stömmer
Neuschwansteiner by Günter Stömmer

Inga Stracke
Inga Stracke is a multi-talented journalist, event organizer, and networker who is equally at home in the Formula 1™ paddocks around the globe as well as the winter hills of the 4-Hill-Ski jumping tournament and other world class events. She is also a motorsport travel advisor for DERTOUR. Born in Bavaria, Inga became famous as pit-lane reporter for German Sky-TV and F1’s™ own multi-channel digital TV, and she founded the first agency for F1™ commercial radio broadcast in D-A-CH. She also produced the first Formula 1™ live radio show nationwide in US/Canada and headed the creation of the original Red Bulletin. Inga regularly contributes culinary trip reviews and gourmet features for MICHELIN starred restaurants around the globe.