News 2001

Beautiful Johanna and 1400 Horsepower!


This years silver medallist in Tractor Pulling pro stock class, European Championships and Finnish Championships was one of the attractions of the Valtra customer service stand at Ennakkokilleri, a fair at Jyväskylä, Finland. Shining and polished tractor Doris had been brought with her from the race tracks.

The program of the next pulling season is still open. Johanna was able to tell that the opening of the season will probably be held in March in Holland – in the indoor Super Pull competition.

Eurocup program is also being developed. The amount of races might increase from last year and UK might still not get it’s own race this season.

Fresh and lively Johanna works at the new Atrium customer service centre at Suolahti. She hosts international guests regularly. Lately there have been groups visiting e.g. from Germany, France, Latvia and Lithuania.

Agritechica in Germany

Straight after Ennakkokilleri, Johanna travelled to Germany to visit the Agritechnica fair In Hannover. Valtra stand in Agritechnica is naturally also presenting tractor pulling. At Agritechnica the presented pulling tractor is Johanna’s brothers tractor Caesar.

int1 2








m&j 2

Matti Herlevi - European Champion won also "the Champs race" in Norway

The official pulling season reached its climax in Herlevis triple victory at the European Championships in Sweden. On the way back home Valtra team stopped in Norway for the traditional unofficial "friendly" competition organized by the Engen family.

The new European Champion Matti Herlevi proved his competence. Matti and Caesar were the only ones to make a full pull. Father Pekka was little bit slipping and sliding, but made it to nearly 83 metres.

After Saturday’s demo pull the oil filter of Doris started leaking and therefore Johanna and Doris didn’t show up to the start line on Sunday.

The third place went Arne Nielsen and Waterloo Deere with a 75 metres pull. The other lady driver of the weekend became fourth.

"The season is over for now. We are heading back home, all in good spirits" told Matti Herlevi contented.

European Championship in Hörby, Sweden 8.-9.9.

Smash Hit for Herlevis and Valtra

Despite of all starting difficulties at the European championship of tractor pulling, everything turned out well - especially for the Herlevi family and the whole Valtra Team. This time the worst competitor was the very wet weather. Also other Finns succeeded.

Tractor pulling competitions have been organised at Hörby Arena since 1987. Hörby, situated north of Lund in Sweden, was this year having its third EC. Previous competitions were driven in 1987 and 1995. The organisers were expecting to have 15 000 spectators each day, but unfortunately the rain decreased the amount of viewers.

European Championship of tractor pulling was driven in Finland for the first time in 1996. Next time Finland’s turn will be in 2003. European Championship 2002 will be held in the Netherlands.

Teasing rain

On Saturday the was delayed seven hours. Partly because of the bad weather, but also because of the late preparing of the track. Wet clay, which had been put on the track only few days before the event, caused some problems. After some more lime and peat the track was in reasonable condition.

Due to the unpredictable weather conditions all competitors got only one attempt to be qualified for the pull off. On Saturday Finland was well-represented by two pullers.

Mikko Perä and MP-Lift with 3000 hp qualified for the pull off in the super stock class. He came second, only 58 cm behind Dutch Bits ‘n Pieces. According to Mikko everything went well, without any technical or other problems.

Tommi Kotilainen and Stormy Lightning competed in the European Championship race for the third time. Tommi set a distance of 85 metres and it was enough to place him third. Tommi took the start pretty easy, maybe having last year’s tip over in his mind, and his tractor stopped 6 metres short from the silver medal. Anyhow Tommi was more than happy for his bronze medal.

The power to weight ratio of Tommi’s Stormy Lightning is impressive: 950 kg and over 1100 hp with a boost pressure of 2,5 bar.

Congratulations for Mikko and Tommi!

On a rainy Sunday the first Finnish puller was Uuno Järvitalo in a modified 2500 class. This time Uuno and Thunder set a distance of 74 m and unfortunately it wasn’t enough to take him to the pull off.

Triple victory again

On Sunday The Pro Stocks got on the track 3 hours delayed. It started raining in the middle of the class and the track was covered with plastic. After a short break the competition continued.

Besides the Herlevis three other competitors got to the pull off. Pertti Hämäläinen and Bison didn’t quite succeed . Distance for him was 90,27 m.

Martin Nicholson (UK) started the second round. The sledge stopped him near the 100 metre line, at 96,87 m. Despite of that Pekka Herlevi could keep a straight face and outdistanced the Englishman by well over 2 metres, 99,04 m for him.

Mark Edgington’s performance was a little bit unsuccessful, he made some 70 metres. Next Matti and Caesar showed up determinedly. For  the joy of the Valtra team he pulled further than all the others, only 12 cm from full pull!

Two more to go. The Frenchman Robert Soenen got stuck in 85 m. Double win for Herlevis was secured. The last excitement was Johanna's pull with Doris.

Johanna and Doris were going just fine already at first round. She didn’t let her brother Matti get off easily: Johanna and Doris were going nicely until the sledge stopped them in 99,80! Triple victory for the family was repeated. This time, with reason, it was Matti’s turn to win. And all three ended up within 84 cm.

"In the pull off I didn’t even have to use my breaks", told Matti with a wide smile on his face.

According to him all three tractors were running fine without any faults in this most important event of the whole season.

Team leader Arto Tiitinen could hardly keep from smiling. "Now we have three European champions in the Herlevi family as well as in the pulling team. One fourfold and two first-timers."

Warm thanks for partners

Now when the season is officially over Valtra Shell Pulling Team wants to present their warm thanks to the sponsors, encouragers and all tractor pulling fans. We wish You all a brisk autumn!

Next weekend’s European Championships in Hörby, Sweden


European Championships, the main event of this season, on the becoming weekend.

The most important competition of European tractor pulling will be held in Sweden next weekend. Besides Valtra Shell Pulling Team there will be also some other Finnish pullers.

Tommi Kotilainen and Uuno järvitalo will take part in modified classes, Mikko Perä in Super Stock class. Pertti Hämäläinen and Bison will compete in pro stock class besides the Herlevi trio. So for these two exciting days it promises to be a lot to see, to hear and to feel.

Johanna01 2
Johanna’s Doris was tested last Saturday in Vaasa. Doris had got her old feed pump back and overspeed governor had been mounted on the engine. Test pulls were promising.

The team will start out on Thursday. Even the most experienced competitor will get into the right mood on the way down to Hörby. Everything possible has been done now. As a common desire for the rainmaker Herlevi’s say: please, give us a rainless weekend.


More information about EC-Hörby:

Finnish Championship 2001 –triple victory for the Herlevis’ and Valtra


All six rounds of the Finnish Championships are now driven. In most of the classes, the champions of the previous years renewed their title. In the spectacular pro stock 3,5 t class the name of the winner is still Herlevi, but this time more masculine; Pekka took the title from his daughter Johanna. The main event of the season is yet to come. The European championships will be driven next weekend in Hörby, Sweden.

FC tractor pulling competitions were driven this year in Alahärmä, Haapajärvi, Hyvinkää, Oulainen, Tyrnävä and Vaasa. Depending on the place there were spectators from 1000 to 5000 wondering and enjoying the competition of the Finnish Championship. Ostrobothnia is definately the centre of this sport.

FTPA, the Finnish Tractor Pulling Association is marketing tractor pulling in Finland. There is still much work to be done in that field, both for the competitors as well as for the spectators. A rumour has it that two new pro stocks and one modified in under construction for the next summer. With an applause; welcome along!!

Some of the classes driven were not considered as official championship classes because of a lack of competitors. To get an official status for the class there should be at least three participants competing during one season. For example in the super stocks Mikko Perä was in practise competing only against himself.

Three Herlevi’s in Pro Stocks

It is hard to find a match for three members of a same family competing on the top tractor pulling. The Finnish Championship with all prizes again went to Valtra and the Herlevi family. This year father Pekka has been very convincing, Matti renewed his silver from last year, and Johanna had to exchange roles with her dad. Before this year Johanna had won the Finnish championship title three years in a row.
"Our tractors have been running very well. Everything was in good balance; tyres, weights, everything", told Matti and Pekka Herlevi only one week before the EC trip to Sweden.

"I have had so much bad luck until now. I hope, my fortune will change in the European championships. Anyhow, the most important thing has been the great success of our team. For me the order within our team is a minor point as such", tells Johanna Herlevi.

The pro stock race tractors of Valtra team are based on Valtra 8950 HiTech model and have this year nearly 1600 hp and a torque of 2400 Nm. Still a complete race tractor requires much more besides a good running Sisudiesel engine.

The first positions of the other classes were also divided between familiar names from last year, fortunately in varying order. This year Jukka Vähätalo with his Ursus achieved the fourth place.

Familiar names, but also quitters

In modified mini class 950 kg Tommi Kotilainen and his Stormy Lightning were unbeatable in Finland. Jukka Hietanen became second.

Järvitalo was in the lead of the Modified 2500 kg and 3500 kg classes. Last year’s champion in the lighter class, Mirja, gave the game up, so her husband Uuno took this year the brightest trophies with full points. However Rauno Anteroinen with Fine Line was making a good competition in 3,5 t class.

In Super stock class Mikko Perä is driving without any competitors just for the joy of the audience and of course to get some experience. Only at the European level it gets serious.

Two Valmet 565 –tractors were ruling the lightest farm class. Voitto Kivimäki beat Tapani Voltti by 6 points.

Timo Laine with his MF renewed his victory with full points. In two heavier classes last year’s champions Eero and Erkki Peräaho withdrew from the competitions this summer. Esa Niemi, silver medallist of year 2000 took victory in both classes.