MPG victory is a really mean achievement

A Ford Fiesta 1.6-litre turbo diesel ECOnetic won the 2013 ALD Automotive/Shell FuelSave MPG Marathon for the second year...

A Ford Fiesta 1.6-litre turbo diesel ECOnetic won the 2013 ALD Automotive/Shell FuelSave MPG Marathon for the second year running with 88.69mpg over 339.3 miles. - Credit: Paul Marriott Photography

The 2013 ALD Automotive/Shell FuelSave MPG Marathon threw up some unexpected winners in what organisers dubbed the toughest test of eco-driving skills so far.

Forty-six competitors took part in the marathon which, organised by Fleet World, is the UK's longest-running and best-known economy driving event.

The eventual winners of the contest to achieve the best outright MPG proved that you don't have to be an eco-driving expert to clock up a winning performance.

Driving a Ford Fiesta ECOnetic 1.6 TDCi – the same vehicle that took Andy Dawson and Andrew Marriott to victory in last year's marathon – were Leicestershire County Council employees Nick Chapman and Rosemary Homer.

The pair, who had not even met before the event, are two of the county council's 'greenest' employees but were disappointed with their performance on day one of the marathon. Some eco-driving tips from some former winners saw them make light work of day two, eventually returning 88.69mpg over their 339-mile course, for an impressive win against the best in the economy driving world.

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Former BBC Top Gear presenter Sue Baker came agonisingly close to victory in a Renault Clio dCi 90, but her 87.36mpg fell just short of the mark and saw her finish second.

Third place went to Mark Armstrong-Read of Derbyshire NHS Trust – winner of the percentage improvement prize last year. His impressive 84.87mpg in a Honda Civic 1.6i-DTEC could have been much better were it not for a traffic hold-up in Sheffield city centre.

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The marathon also challenged drivers to improve on the official fuel consumption figures issued for their vehicle.

Winners of the percentage improvement award were MPG Marathon veterans John Kendall and Paul Nieuwenhuis, who coaxed 59.39mpg from a Peugeot 208 GTi, a improvement of 23.99% over the combined figure of 47.9mpg.

Second place went to motoring journalist Chris Russon and Peugeot PR man Kevin Jones, in a new Peugeot 308 HDi 92, with an uplift of 10.41%, while third place went to the Honda Civic of Mr Armstrong-Read with an 8.12% improvement.

The MPG Marathon is designed to be a 'real world' test that demonstrates the benefits to both the environment and the motorist's back pocket of employing simple, smarter driving techniques.

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