The team from Doncaster competed against 22 other schools from across the UK in this national driving competition where speed is sacrificed for efficiency.  Their winning mileage was 794 mpg in the Wharthog vehicle they built from scratch and was driven by 14 year old student Matthew Griffin.

The Shell Eco-marathon competition challenges 11-16 year olds to design, build, and test fuel efficient vehicles.  Pupils aim to complete the course at the world famous Rockingham Motor Speedway using the least fuel possible whilst maintaining a minimum speed of 15mph. This year the event was truly international as the UK school teams were joined by guest teams from universities in France, Portugal, Germany, Spain, Italy and Switzerland, who were there refining their models for the European event in 2010.

The Sir Thomas Wharton team claimed 1st place in the Schools initiative class. The Schools initiative is for schools within their first three years of the competition. To help them along they receive a free engine, starter book and mentoring support.

Mr Lowndes, teacher at Sir Thomas Wharton, was proud of his students who had worked extremely hard on the car. “Taking part in the Shell Ecomarathon has been a great opportunity for the students to get real hands on experience of science and engineering. I’m thrilled that their dedication and hard work has been rewarded by winning this award.”

Newstead Wood School’s all-girls team, from Orpington, Kent, gave the boys a run for their money and gained 3rd place.  This is the first year they have entered the competition and they were thrilled to have achieved such a result with a mileage of 374.6 mpg.

The overall schools class was won by Newland House School from Twickenham who achieved a staggering 1766 mpg in a car they built from scratch. Barry McGovern, teacher at Newland House, was overjoyed at the achievements of his students. “Taking part in the Shell Ecomarathon has been a wonderful few days with a great atmosphere and stiff competition. It was a fantastic opportunity for the students to work together as a team. They have been able to apply theory and use the skills they have learnt in the classroom on the track.”

Shell has been running Eco-marathon events for over thirty years in the UK and they are specifically designed to encourage the engineers of tomorrow to continue with their studies of science and engineering subjects.

Holger Paesler, Site Manager Shell Technology Centre Thornton & Global Manager for Shell Global Solutions presented the team with their award. “I’m always impressed by the student’s enthusiasm and would like to congratulate the students at Sir Thomas Wharton on their great achievement. I hope that they will go on to achieve great things in the world of science, technology engineering and maths.”

Shell volunteers play an important role in running the event. Staff assisting on the day included the Ferrari Formula 1 Project manager and the scientists who develop fuels for the Ferrari F1 team.

Norman Koch, Shell Eco-marathon Global Technical Manager, based at Thornton, says: “Our team of technical experts has a unique level of expertise in delivering all aspects of this competition, from the vehicle scrutineering to fuel measurement and safety inspections.”

“By participating in the Shell Eco-marathon Youth Challenge UK, the students get practical experience but also learn about how exciting the application of science can be. We hope that it will lead them to consider a career and ultimately opportunities in science to enhance the talent pipeline.”

Media Enquiries

For images from the event or further information, please contact Jenny Marsden 

020 7934 8698

Notes to editors

  • Shell Eco-marathon Youth Challenge UK is a sister activity to Shell's Eco-marathon Europe, aimed at university / college students which took place in May in Germany.  For further details on this, see
  • The Shell Eco-marathon is one of a number of activities that Shell UK undertakes to encourage the next generation of scientists 
  • Competitors from schools and youth teams construct a vehicle that meets the required safety aspects and run it around a circuit using as little fuel as possible. 
  • The best designs consider aspects of aerodynamics, rolling resistance, engine efficiency and driving techniques to achieve the highest fuel economy.
  • The Shell Eco-marathon is supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering.
  • In line with The Royal Academy of Engineering’s ‘Best Programme’ and its work to widen participation in engineering within education, half of the competing schools have been selected because they do not have an engineering background. 
Shell Smarter Mobility
  • Shell recently unveiled a package of innovations, called "Smarter Mobility", aimed at speeding up the global shift to cleaner, more energy-efficient road transport. It has three parts; smarter products, smarter use and smarter infrastructure.  Shell launched the concept at Michelin’s Challenge Bibendum sustainable mobility conference.
  • The Smarter Drivers campaign is just one example of the Smarter Use element.  In 2009 we launched a new on-line training tutorial and have trained over 160,000 customers around the world in fuel efficient driving. 
  • During 2007 and 2008 we completed a FuelSave Challenge, training over 2,000 drivers from across 10 countries. Customers purchased competitor fuel for one month and then received in-depth training in Fuel Efficiency tips. For the following month they implemented these tips whilst using only Shell fuels with Fuel Economy formula fuel. We then compared fuel consumption between the two months to understand the savings made when using a combination of FuelSave tips and a Fuel Economy formula fuel. On average 2 in 3 drivers saved fuel, and the average saving of those who saved was 10%. The average saving of the best drivers was 24%.

Shell runs local community relations activity with organisations local to our operations. Shell also runs a series of nationwide social investment programmes. These are:

  • Shell Livewire.  Shell Livewire supports, advises and rewards young entrepreneurs. A 100,000 strong international network of users receive tailored information and advice whilst helping them build relationships and understand the challenges faced by their peers. Up to four Shell Livewire Grand Ideas awards of £1,000 are given to start-up businesses every month. The Shell Livewire Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award of £10,000 has been running since 1982 and continues to recognise and celebrate outstanding young entrepreneurs in the UK. Shell LiveWIRE has awarded a total of £5 million to young entrepreneurs since launching in 1982. 
  • Shell Education Service provides a series of unique, interactive physical science workshops to over 60,000 young children a year.  Workshops are designed to support directly the UK curricula in over 600 hundred primary schools, benefitting both the pupils and teachers. The Shell Education Service also organises science days for local communities and trainee teachers, building their confidence and skills in teaching science.  Shell has supported this programme for over 50 years. 
  • Shell Springboard provides a financial boost to innovative, low carbon business ideas from across the UK. Since 2005, around 130 businesses have faced independent judging panels and 43 have been awarded £20-£40,000.  In total over £1.6 million has been awarded to these businesses, with no strings attached. Through Shell Springboard, Shell supports small to medium sized enterprises in the UK with innovative ideas to seize the commercial opportunities presented by climate change. 

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