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Photos: Racing at 6,786 miles per gallon

At the European Shell Eco-marathon, it's the best fuel efficiency that wins the race.
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Starting line

The winners of the European Eco-Shell Marathon 2006 weren't the fastest but they were the most fuel efficient. Teams had to battle changing temperatures and wind conditions and use the least amount of fuel after completing seven laps of the Nogaro Circuit in southwest France.

The first 27 teams broke the 1,000-kilometer-per-liter (2,825-mile-per-gallon) barrier, according to officials.

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winners

Engineering students from the Lycee La Joliverie school in France won the big prize with an ethanol-powered vehicle that, according to race officials, averaged an astounding energy consumption equivalent of 2,885 kilometers per liter or 6,786 miles per gallon. And this didn't even meet the car's trial run of 2,914 kilometers per liter or 6,854 miles per gallon. This car also won the Climate Friendly award for the least greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite the large number of participants and success of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, this car proved that ethanol-powered vehicles were still a solid choice for energy efficiency.

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Eco-Design winner

The Eco-Design award, which takes into account the materials and energy used to produce a car, went to ENSIETA (Ecole Nationale Supereure d'Ingenieurs) Brest, for their bamboo and metal chassis covered in newspaper.

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Eco-Design winner

The driver has something to read when stuck in traffic.

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technical innovation

The technical innovation award was won by the Hochschule Offenburg team from Germany. The group integrated the motor into the wheel of their hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. It achieved 2,614 kilometers per liter or 6,149 miles per gallon fuel consumption.

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post parade

Imagine this as the traffic jam of the future. Spectators and team members lean over to watch their vehicle before the race begins.

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Lycee Gustave Eiffel

Lycee Gustave Eiffel came in 106th place for going 287 kilometers per liter, or 675 miles per gallon. The high school used their condom-shaped vehicle to compare automobile safety with the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

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slow motion

Speed is not of importance in the Eco-marathon. It looks like the cyclist can easily outrace this entry.

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safety winner

The Haute Ecole Specialisee de Suisse Occidentale team from Switzerland won the safety award with their braking system, "clean" car" and a driver safety system.

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urban concept

Imagine seeing this tiny vehicle pulling up next to you at a stoplight. The Technical University of Denmark won the Urban Concept class with 810 kilometers per liter or 1,905 miles per gallon.

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urban concept

Another urban concept car gains terrific mileage. The Faculdade Engeharia de Universidade competes in the urban concept division.

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Box car

An interesting design--perhaps lacking in aerodynamics.

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ECAM

The ECAM team buckles in the driver before closing the lid on their entry.

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solar energy

This vehicle received a boost from its solar energy panel.

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technical measurements

Tournament technicians examined the engines prior to the beginning of the race.

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