The past few months have proved quite difficult in motorsport, as the various forms of racing encounter tragedy after tragedy.
The fatal accidents of former IndyCar Champion Dan Wheldon and MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli may have grabbed all the headlines and comment, but as always, other news escapes the media stranglehold.
In the time since, Graham Rahal’s auction to raise funds for Dan Wheldon’s remaining family has reportedly raised over $400,000. An amazing achievement.
It is therefore heart-warming to see the Formula 1 world also out to support those affected by difficulties. The Tree of Hope Children’s Charity is in currently running an auction to raise funds for the family of 3-year-old Seb Strudwick – a boy suffering with Cerebral Palsy.
According to the charity:
“…the aim is to raise enough money to send Seb to America for a life changing operation that will enable him to sit, stand and walk independently.
The operation led by a team at the St Louis Children’s Hospital has a 100% success rate over 20 years and the lead neurosurgeon is certain that Seb will benefit from Selective Dorsal Rhyzotomy (SDR).
Seb’s father Daniel is an employee at the Brackley Based Mercedes GP Team and has with the help of friends and colleagues put together an eBay charity auction for F1 Memorabilia. To help the fund along Daniel has collected items himself from his personal collection and has also been given many items by the teams on the grid.”
One of the auction’s leading lights has been well known motor racing photographer, Mark Sutton of Sutton Images. Alongside various pieces of Formula 1 equipment, including signed helmets, overalls and some unique car parts, Sutton brought several limited edition pictures from his company’s extensive archive.
“Seb and his family are local to me and as soon as I heard about his condition and the need for his operation I wanted to assist as much as I could. I knew that I could help them through my contacts in the F1 industry and help make a huge impact into the amount they needed to raise for this journey.
The F1 teams have been amazing in their response and I am confident that we will collect the necessary funds to make this a reality.”
The family need in excess of £45,000 to fund the operation and follow-on care for Seb. Although the operation takes place in January, rehabilitation – including daily physiotherapy – will continue for long periods thereafter.
Items in the auction:
Signed Caps and Helmets
Red Bull Cap; Sauber (Cap 1, Cap 2, Cap 3); Scuderia Toro Rosso Cap; Williams F1 Cap; Ross Brawn Mercedes GP Cap; Brawn GP Cap (signed by Brawn and Jenson Button); Subaru Prodrive (unsigned) Cap; Lewis Hamilton Replica Helmet; Michael Schumacher Replica Helmet; Nico Rosberg Replica Helmet; Mercedes GP Pit Crew Helmet (signed by Schumacher and Rosberg); Jenson Button Brawn Helmet;
Shirts, Jumpers, Overalls and Gloves
Sebastian Vettel Fireproof Garment; Button and Hamilton T-Shirt; Framed Nico Rosberg Gloves; Framed Paul di Resta Gloves; Button Honda Overalls; Jos Verstappen Overalls; Tyrrell F1 (Coat, Jumper, Shirt 1, Shirt 2, Gloves, Socks, Badge); BAR Shirt; Subaru Prodrive (Jumper, Shirt)
Books, Photographs and Posters
Signed Ross Brawn Book; Team Lotus F1 Book; Williams Photo Book; (signed and framed) Sebastian Vettel; Mark Webber; Jenson Button; Lewis Hamilton; Fernando Alonso; Felipe Massa; Adrian Sutil; Paul di Resta; Timo Glock; Sir Jackie Stewart; Damon Hill; David Coulthard; Alex Wurz; Martin Brundle; Luca di Montezemelo.