A vehicle made by a Warminster school has beaten off competition from all over Europe to become the highest-placed British entry in the Shell Eco-Marathon Europe.

The annual competition is held for teams from Europe and Africa. This year, it was held at Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge, Surrey, from July 2-5.

After five hot days of competition, Kingdown School’s team’s vehicle finished the event in first position with a staggering 2,526.51 miles per gallon, making them the highest-placed British team and 15th in the world rankings.

Dave Leater, Kingdown School’s design technology teacher, said: “We’re chuffed to bits. This is an incredible achievement by the Kingdown School team, who were the only secondary school team in the competition.

“We were the only secondary school there, all the other teams were from universities and commercial companies which makes our team’s achievements even more stunning.

“We were competing against international teams from university engineering faculties and large company research and development departments from France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Sweden and Germany.

“There were over 1,800 people staying on the campsite and you could hear every different language as you walked through the field of tents.”

The school’s success is the culmination of many hours of work by the vehicle designers, Mr Leater and Kingdown School student, Alistair Mallard, with contributions from the school’s Engineering Club.

The team members were Silas Hamilton, Ned Bell, Alex Chatwin, Theo Jones, Hugo Blighe, Jonathan Roberts, Russell Marchant, Alistair Mallard, Emily Wilson, Maggie Goodby and May Evans, assisted by teachers Nick Webster, Andy Bray and Clare Pelopida.

The Engineering Club members have spent many hours working on parts to help to perfect the record-breaking prototype vehicle, which is made from carbon fibre and contains some very advanced electronic and mechanical systems.

Mr Leater said: “We could not have achieved this success without help from our sponsors, Paul Young, of Rondar Race Boats of Edington, for their support in moulding outer shell of the car; and Terry Hibben, of WGP Group of Bishopstrow, and Wiltshire Youth Fund for financial backing.