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    Shell Opens Registration for 2009 Eco-marathon

    The fuel efficiency challenge will feature a new "urban concept" category.

    FONTANA, Calif. -- Registration is open for the 2009 Shell Eco-marathon Americas, a race that encourages participants to develop the most fuel efficient vehicle possible, and this year, the race will feature new categories for high school, university and college students to compete to win $5,000, Shell stated.

    The Shell Eco-marathon Americas requires teams to design, build and test vehicles to find one that can go the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel, the company stated. The competition will take place April 15-18, 2009, at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

    "The Shell Eco-marathon offers young people interested in technology, energy and transportation a unique, hands-on opportunity to stretch the boundaries of fuel efficiency," Mark Singer, Shell Eco-marathon global project manager, said in a statement. "Adding the 'Urban Concept' category to the Americas event in 2009 is a visible demonstration of our deep commitment to face the global demand for energy head-on and an invitation for others to do the same. We look forward to seeing these vehicles on the track and, one day, powered by environmentally friendly fuels out on the roads."

    The race will offer two competitive categories—"Prototype" and "Urban Concept." The Prototype category encourages futuristic, streamlined vehicles focused on maximizing fuel efficiency through innovative design elements such as drag reduction, according to the company. The Urban Concept category focuses on roadworthy, fuel-efficient vehicles that are aimed at meeting drivers’ real-life needs.

    Both categories allow competitors to use any conventionally available energy source, including diesel, gasoline and liquid petroleum gas, as well as alternative fuels such as hydrogen, biomass and solar, the company stated.

    For more information on all the 2009 Shell Eco-marathon Americas, including official rules, instructions for registration and details on cash incentives and prizes, visit the Shell Eco-marathon web site at www.shell.com/ecomarathon.

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