News 2005

Sigma Power wins by overwhelming margin at season-ending indoor event

764 1Sigma Power had enough power to climb on the sand pile at the far end of the track.
The three-meter high pile of sand at the far end of the track was almost not enough to stop Sigma Power’s pull at the last indoor tractor pulling event of the season held on 5 November in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Skilfully driven by Pekka Herlevi, Sigma Power took an overwhelming victory. Johanna was just squeezed out of second position, ending up in third with Doris. Matti did not participate in the event.

“Sigma’s pull on top of the sand pile was without doubt the most spectacular of the competition. The length of the indoor track was just 80 meters, and Pekka was carrying plenty of speed at the end of the track,” Johanna explained.

Doris also performed well but came up 15 centimeters short of Rocky’s second-place pull. Before leaving for the event, single cut tyres were put on Doris, which proved to be a mistake. The track was anyway softer than expected, and Johanna had to pull in a lower gear than normally. This naturally reduced her speed.

“On the other tyres I would for sure have pulled at least 15 centimeters more, but not as far as my dad,” Johanna commented.

The competition season is now over for the Valtra Shell Pulling Team. The team would like to thank all its fans and supporters. Johanna and Sigma Power will still appear at the AGCO Show in England at the end of November. Next year’s season begins with some indoor events in the spring, followed by the first outdoor events in April-May.


1) Sigma Power, Pekka Herlevi, Valtra, FIN, 69,66, 2) Rocky, Barend Huyjbregts, Case IH, NL, 59,30, 3) Doris, Johanna Herlevi, Valtra, FIN 59,15, 4) Mister Bean, John Deere, NL, 57,88, 5) White Crow,Ronald Rozeboom, Case IH, NL, 52,15, 6) Extreme Temptation, William de Vos, New Holland, NL, 48,72, 7) John Deere, Michael Galsgaard, John Deere, DK, 0,00, 8) Snoopy, Edward Beukeveld, New Holland, NL, 77,91 (ensimmäisellä kierroksella), 9) Rednex, Arjan van der Kolk, Steyr, 67,99, 10) Red Attraction, Sjaak Balk, Massey Ferguson, 66,58, 11) Runaway Deer, Paul Broeks, John Deere, NL, 57,88, 12) Bukke Bruse, Jacob Jensen, Case IH, DK, 24,68.

765 1Pekka Herlevi won, Barend Huyjbregts was second and Johanna Herlevi third in Arnhem Indoor competition.

Doris mud wrestles her way to victory


Johanna Herlevi’s tractor Doris finished its outdoor tractor pulling season with a victory at an invitational event in Sales Lavallette, France, on Sunday 25 September. Caesar came in fourth and Sigma Power fifth. Pekka Herlevi drove both Caesar and Sigma in the competition.

“There was so much mud at the venue that your feet would get stuck if you stood too long in one place. The track though was in good condition, as it was covered before the competition,” explained Anne Herlevi.

The venue was situated in a valley, and not a single car was able to make it up the slippery slope after the competition without being pulled. For example, two tractors were used to pull up the Herlevi’s truck. The competition tractors were pulled up separately and loaded only at the nearest road.

The French spectators have to be applauded, as the rain did not seem to bother them. Altogether around 5000 spectators were on hand to enjoy the tractor pulling atmosphere.

All competitors achieved a full pull in the first round. The final results were measured to the nearest metre.

After the competition, the team and their tractors are returning home to Finland. This autumn they will still compete at the indoor event in Arnhem and appear at several exhibitions.

Salles Lavallette, France, 25.9.:

1) Doris, Johanna Herlevi, Valtra, FIN, 93, 2) Rocky, Barend Huybregts, Case IH, NL, 91, 3) Easy Rider, Mark van Leijsen, Case IH, NL, 89, 4) Caesar, Pekka Herlevi, Valtra, FIN, 88, 5) Sigma Power, Pekka Herlevi, Valtra, FIN, 87, 6) Moving Mountains, Jan van der Veeken, New Holland, NL, 77, 7) Diablo Rouge, Benoit Soenen, International, F, 75, 8) Mr. Bean, JD, NL, 45.

Valtra team confirms top-two finish in Euro Cup

730 1Matti, Johanna and Pekka Herlevi were satisfied after Euro cup finale in Bettborn, Luxemburg.
The tractor pulling season for the Valtra Shell Pulling Team began in the spring somewhat disappointingly, losing out on victory at the season opener in Lidköping, Sweden. The situation looked even more worrying in June, as only Pekka Herlevi’s Sigma Power seemed to be running according to plan. The performances improved towards the end of the season, however, with Matti and Johanna Herlevi making a concerted dash to catch up.

“The Bettborn competition went well, as Johanna made a terrific improvement and Matti guaranteed his second position,” commented Pekka Herlevi.

Sigma Power eventually took victory in the Euro Cup overwhelmingly with 117 points. Out of seven rounds, Pekka won four. Victory was guaranteed already in the second-to-last competition.

Caesar suffered from fuel-feed problems in the second and third rounds of the Euro Cup. The fuel-feed system and ignition ratio were changed when the tractors returned to Finland in July. Matti’s tractor found new speed in July in Bretagne, France, and the end of the season saw two silvers, one gold and one bronze. Matti finished the season in second place overall with 88 points.

Johanna had a relatively disappointing season this year. Second place in the season opener and victory in the season finale were her best results. The poor results in between were often down to Doris, but also often to plain old bad luck, such as at the European Championships. With her victory in Luxembourg, however, Johanna managed to climb up to fourth place, which is not at all a bad result in such a tough series. Third position was within 11 points, as she totalled 56.

“The track in the beginning was slippery, but around the 60-70 meter mark I began to find grip,” described Pekka. “This caused the front end to begin bouncing, just as it did with Matti, so we had to let off the gas a little. Johanna was the last to drive, so we had time to make an adjustment by shifting 70 kilos of ballast from back to the front just before her pull.”

The final order in the Pro Stock 3500 class in the last Euro Cup event of the season in Bettborn, Luxembourg, was Doris, Runaway Deer, Sigma Power, Caesar, Blue Bambino, Bukke Bruse and Rough Justice.

Many events, tough competition

The 2005 season saw extremely tough competition within the Pro Stock 3500 class. In several events, the top ten were separated only by a few or a dozen or so centimeters. Tractors in the Pro Stock class are already so advanced that further technical improvements are small and demand a lot of work.

Bukke Bruse, which finished third in the Euro Cup, demonstrated how important reliability is in motorsports. Bukke Bruse participated in every event and never placed worse than seventh.

Another tough competitor, Denmark’s John Deere, had a relatively up and down season by comparison. Victories in the season opener and Nordic Championships showed what the team is capable of at their best, but a mechanical failure at the European Championships followed by time off and few bad positions dropped the team down the Euro Cup standings.

Altogether 13 tractors participated this year in the Euro Cup. Victories went only to Sigma Power, Caesar, Doris and John Deere, but they were pushed hard at times by other tractors, including Moving Mountains, Extreme Temptation, Rough Justice and Blue Bambino. In addition, it has to be remembered that the Netherlands and Belgium are home to some really tough machines, such as Code Red, Easy Rider, Runaway Deer and Rocky. These tractors did not participate in the Euro Cup, but they demonstrated what they are capable of at local events and the European Championships. The competition could get tougher, in other words, if these decide to take on the Euro Cup in the future.

The Euro Cup attracted around 100,000 spectators during the season. In addition, hundreds of thousands or even millions of viewers followed the sport on television and in newspapers. The season still continues, but already now it is clear that well over 100,000 spectators have enjoyed watching the Valtra Shell Pulling Team this year.

Pro Stock 3500 Euro Cup event 7/7 in Bettborn, Luxembourg:

1) Doris, Johanna Herlevi, Valtra, FIN, 96.61, 2) Runaway Deer, John Deere, Paul Broeks, NL, 93.37, 3) Sigma Power, Pekka Herlevi, Valtra, FIN, 92.54, 4) Caesar, Matti Herlevi, Valtra, FIN, 90.12,

Did not qualify for pull off: 5) Blue Bambino, Niels Damgaard, Ford, DK, 99.43, 6) Bukke Bruse, Jacob Jensen, Case IH, DK, 99.31, 7) Rough Justice, Martin Nicholson, IH, GB, 98.24, 8) Tonja Harding, Seven Klingsheim, Ford, N, 93.81, 9) Movin´ Mountains, Jan van der Veeken, New Holland, NL, 93.55, 10) Il Tempo Gigante, Bo Svendsen, New Holland, DK, 90.30, 11) Extreem Temptation, William de Vos, IH, NL, 89.44, 12) Code Red, Geert Amhouts, NL, 37.27.

(Runaway Deer and Code Red do not participate in the Euro Cup)

Euro Cup final point standings at end of season:

1) Sigma Power, Pekka Herlevi, Valtra, FIN, 117 points, 2) Caesar, Matti Herlevi, Valtra, FIN, 88, 3) Bukke Bruse, Jacob Jensen, Case IH, DK, 76, 4) Doris, Johanna Herlevi, Valtra, FIN, 65, 5) John Deere, Rasmus Højen, John Deere, DK, 56, 6) Moving Mountains, Jan van der Veeken, NL, 46, 7) Extreem Temptation, William de Vos, IH, NL, 37, 8) Rough Justice, Martin Nicholson, IH, GB, 32, 9) Blue Bambino, Niels Damgaard, Ford, DK, 30, 10) Il Tempo Gigante, Bo Svendsen, New Holland, DK, 29, 11) Tonya Harding, Seven Klingsheim, Ford, N, 21, 12) Ice Bear, Mike Simmons, Valtra, GB, 19, 13) Baby Bear, Gareth Jones, Valtra, GB, 14, 14) Trial ´n Error, John Deere, Mark Edgington, GB, 0, 15) Turn Me Loose, Lucien Keulers, New Holland, NL, 0.

731 1Pekka was number one in Euro cup final point standings, and son Matti was second.

Pekka Herlevi clinches overall Euro Cup victory

721 1Pekka guaranteed overall victory in Euro Cup at the latest round.
Pekka Herlevi and Sigma Power guaranteed overall victory in this year’s Euro Cup at the latest round in Trøgstad, Norway on 3 September. With one competition remaining, Pekka leads the points standings with 102 points, followed by Matti Herlevi on 76 points. As the maximum number of points available from each round is 20 points, no one can challenge Pekka’s overall victory anymore.

The race for second place is still wide open, however. Before the last round, Matti has 76 points, while Denmark’s Jacob Jensen on Bukke Bruse is in third place with 68 points. Therefore, if Jensen wins the last round in Bettborn, he could theoretically still overtake Matti.

Meanwhile, Johanna Herlevi is fighting for fourth place in the overall standings on her tractor Doris. Denmark’s Rasmus Højen and his John Deere did not compete in Trøgstad due to damage suffered at the European Championships. John Deere now has 56 points and Johanna 45. If Johanna does well at Bettborn and John Deere scores few points, fourth place is still possible.

“The tractor began to bounce a little the same way as Johanna’s did in England. It is rather strange, as we all had the same weighting and balance. We will have to see at home whether there is a difference in our tyres,” Pekka Herlevi commented.

The traditional Mestermøtet in Trøgstad, just outside of Oslo, saw tight competition this year. Out of the ten tractors participating in the Pro Stock 3500 class, six achieved a full pull. In the pull off, all six managed over 85 meters. Two of the participating ten tractors were local entrants not participating in the Euro Cup.

Matti won on Caesar, Pekka was third and Johanna was a disappointing sixth.

“Our goal was to take the top three places in the Euro Cup, but we didn’t quite make it. We’ll have to drive well in Luxembourg to make sure we take first and second at least,” Pekka commented.

Approximately 5000 spectators were on hand both days to enjoy the competition in Trøgstad. The weather was sunny, but the track was damp and soft due to rain the day before.


Tractor Pulling Euro Cup, Round 6/7, Trøgstad, Norway, 3.9.

1) Caesar, Matti Herlevi, FIN, 100.45, 2) Bukke Bruse, Jacob Jensen, DK, 98.56, 3) Sigma Power, Pekka Herlevi, FIN, 93.70, 4) Moving Mountains, Jan van der Veeken, NL, 87.00, 5) Il Tempo Gigante, Bo Svendsen, DK, 86.09, 6) Doris, Johanna Herlevi, FIN, 85.10.

722 1Pekka is certainly number one in Euro cup this year, but Matti is fighting for second place.

First and second for Valtra at European Championships

712 1Pekka Herlevi won first prize in European Championships in Great Eccleston, England.
Pekka Herlevi held on to become European Champion in an extremely close and exciting final at Great Ecclestone in England on Sunday 28 August. No less than 21 tractors participated in the Pro Stock 3500 class, with 9 tractors achieving near identical pulls. Valtra’s success was backed up by Matti Herlevi, who came up just 14 centimeters short of his father. Johanna Herlevi placed sixth, despite pulling just five meters less than the winner.

“I used a higher gear than Matti and Johanna for my first pull, so I had nothing extra to give in the second pull. Easy Rider’s third place was a surprise for me, whereas I expected Denmark’s John Deere to do better. It looks like the level is getting tougher every year,” commented Pekka.

Pekka was the first to pull in his class, while Matti was fourth from last. This gave him plenty of time to listen to advice from his father.

“I was pretty nervous before the pull off. I would rather have driven among the first drivers. It was hard just to wait and watch everyone else make their pulls,” Matti told us.

Johanna pulled best in the first round, but she couldn’t match the pace in the pull off.

“I tried to steer a little with the brakes, but then the tractor started bobbing up and down. That’s where I lost a couple of meters, for sure. My first pull was a dream, on the other hand,” commented Johanna after the competition.

Before the event, all the Valtra Shell Pulling Team tractors were prepared in equal fashions, for example balancing them in the same way. The higher compression ratio that was tried in the some previous competitions was returned to its former lower level. This caused the start-up of the tractors to look dramatic, with lots of coughing and flames. All in all the team was satisfied with the results.

“Gold and silver among such strong competition is an excellent achievement, and even Johanna’s sixth place is not at all bad. The competition is now so tough that we will have to find some extra pace for next season,” stated Team Manager Markku Lappalainen.

Around 15,000 spectators were on hand to watch the two-day event in Great Ecclestone. The weather was ideal for both competitors and spectators, with only slight rain on the morning of the second day. This helped make the track a little soft.

Results: 1) Sigma Power, Valtra, Pekka Herlevi, FIN, 103.94, 2) Caesar, Valtra, Matti Herlevi, FIN, 103.80, 3) Easy Rider, Case IH, Mark van Lejsen, NL, 102.17, 4) Code Red, Case IH, Geert Amhouts, B, 100.79, 5) Rocky, Case IH, Brend Huijbregts, NL 99.24, 6) Doris, Valtra, Johanna
Herlevi, FIN, 98.83, 7) Rough Justice, Case IH, Martin Nicholson, GB, 97.72, 8) The Eagle, Valmet, Johannes Örn, FIN, 96.73, 9) John Deere, John Deere, Michael Galsgaard, DK, 95.97, 10) Blue Bambino, Ford, Niels Damgaard, DK, 88.56.

713 1Matti got silver medal, Pekka gold and Mark van Leijsen from Netherland got bronze in Pro Stock 3500 class.