News 2007

Victory in Bettborn not enough for overall Euro Cup victory

1075 1Pekka Herlevi won Euro Cup competition in Bettborn, Luxemburg with his Sigma Power.
The Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s season ended amidst somewhat disappointed feelings in terms of the Euro Cup. Pekka Herlevi and Sigma Power did take victory at the last Euro Cup event, but Johanna and Matti, who needed to win more, managed only fifth and sixth. Matti ended up in third place in the overall Euro Cup standings. Rocky from the Netherlands and John Deere from Denmark took gold and silver separated by only a single point. Johanna took fourth place, one point behind Matti in the bronze position.

“I used a different gear, which helped a little. Our result in Bettborn was not too bad, but bronze in the Euro Cup is a disappointment,” admits Pekka Herlevi.

This season has shown that the competition in the Pro Stock category is getting tougher. The differences between the best tractors are only a few metres or even centimetres.

“We have to make changes to our tractors over the winter to ensure better success next season. Positions 5 and 6 are not the goal. First we will sit down and talk about what has to be done, and then we will get down to work,” Pekka says.

Approximately 10,000 spectators were on hand to watch the Euro Cup finals, which were held in sunny weather on Sunday 23 September in Bettborn, Luxembourg. One of the most outstanding results of the event was the success of the Dutch tractors, which won every category in the Euro Cup. In addition, 4 to 6 Dutch tractors finished in the top ten in every category.

The Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s season continues next Saturday at an invitational event in Arnum, Denmark. After this the team and tractors will return to Finland for the winter. The 2008 season will probably begin at the indoor pulling event in the Netherlands.

1076 1Johanna is always the most popular driver in the pulling scene, regardless of her success in the particular competition.

Countdown claims surprise victory at European Championships

1070 1It was surprisingly Countdown driven by Matti Herlevi, that performed best of the team´s tractors in European Championships.
The battle for the European Championships in the Pro Stock class that was fought in Herning, Denmark proved to be the most exciting in years. The sled proved such a challenge that after two complete rounds only four tractors out of twenty qualified for the pull off. The all-or-nothing nature of the competition meant there were a lot of blowups as drivers tried to squeeze every last drop of power and a little bit more from their engines.

“This time Countdown performed best, which was admittedly quite a surprise,” commented Matti Herlevi, the winning driver.

Countdown is the Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s fourth tractor that Pekka Herlevi has built with the intention of selling. Winning the European Championship must be the best possible advertisement.

Of the team’s regular three tractors, Sigma Power driven by Pekka was the strongest, placing second overall. Caesar driven by Matti came in seventh and Johanna’s Doris came in eleventh. Johanna drove excellently, and her first pull was technically the finest of the entire competition, but the final meters were beyond her reach due to a valve problem.

Rocky from the Netherlands and John Deere from Denmark also qualified for the pull off. Much to the disappointment of the home crowd, John Deere came in fourth, while Rocky managed third. Among the Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s traditional competitors, Rough Justice from the UK also made a mark, having regained its form after a few quiet years. Rough Justice is now driven by Martin Nicholson’s son Ted.

The weather favoured the main event on Sunday in central Jutland. The categories that ran on Saturday had to cope with very strong winds and drizzle, but the Sunday competitions were held under warm and sunny autumn skies. The track was dry and hard, and one explanation for Countdown’s success was no doubt the different tyres it ran compared to the team’s other tractors. The wide-spaced and high pattern on Countdown’s tyres seemed to grip the track better than the more tightly spaced and low tyre patterns used by the other tractors. A total of approximately 20,000 spectators were on hand over the weekend to enjoy the tractor pulling. Over 80 tractors and cars participated in this year’s European Championships in eight different categories.

1071 1In addition to Matti and Pekka, Barend Huybregts from Holland was on the podium.

Valtra commands top two positions going into last Euro cup event


The situation in the Euro Cup going into the last round looks exciting. Caesar and Doris are still out in front, but John Deere and Rocky are close behind. Sigma Power is currently in fifth position. The point differences are so small that if John Deere wins in Bettborn and Caesar comes in third, the Danish team would take overall victory. Similarly, Pekka still has a theoretical chance to claim third position if he wins the last event and his two main rivals remain without points. The last round of the Euro Cup will be held in Bettborn in Luxembourg on 23 September.

Victory in the second to last event of the season, which was held in Lubersac in France, went to Rocky, driven by Dutchman Barend Huybregts. Sigma Power, which was finally running with a reliable fuel pump, came in second and Caesar in third. Johanna’s Doris began to bounce in the pull off, and she ended up around a metre short of John Deere.

The track at Lubersac was dry despite a couple of downpours. Several thousand spectators were on hand to enjoy the tractor pulling.

All three of the Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s tractors have qualified for the European Championships based on their positions in the Euro Cup. According to the regulations, participation in the European Championships is automatic for tractors that have accumulated at least 50 percent of the points of the leading tractor in the Euro Cup. The Valtra Shell Pulling Team would also have qualified on the basis of their success in the Finnish Championships. The European Championships will be held on 8-9 September in Herning, Denmark.

Valtra claims top four positions in Finnish Championships

1046 1All five Pro Stock 3500 tractors competing in Finnish Champinonships.
For the first time ever the Valtra Shell Pulling Team took the top four positions at the Finnish Tractor Pulling Championships. The team has claimed the top three positions before, but the exceptional top four achievement came courtesy of Countdown, which was being “test driven”. Pekka has been building Countdown with the intention to sell the tractor, and it has tested in several Finnish Championship events and some international invitational events.

Victory in the Finnish Championships went to Pekka, Johanna took silver and Matti bronze. In addition to the team’s four tractors, Johannes Örn’s The Eagle also competed in the same series and offered tough competition.

“It would be nice to have more competitors in the Pro Stock series in Finland. Other European countries have the same problem, with the exception perhaps of Denmark and Holland where several top teams compete in their domestic Pro Stock series. In other countries there are only one or two teams competing at this level. Of course, the Super Farm series is more attractive for those who want to compete with a smaller investment,” Pekka Herlevi says.

The Finnish Tractor Pulling Championships were otherwise a success this summer. Each event attracted a greater number of spectators than last year, totalling well over 30,000 paying spectators. Despite the rainy summer, the weather favoured tractor pulling, as each event was run under clear blue skies. The C Event that is being held in Nurmes on 12 August also looks promising. Previously tractor pulling competitions have not been held in Eastern Finland but mainly in Western Finland.

Doris and Caesar leading Euro Cup


3,5 ton Pro Stock Euro Cup results Putten, Holland 14th July:

1) Doris
2) Rocky
3) Caesar
4) John Deere
5) Extreme Temptation
6) Snoopy
7) Runaway Deer
8) Next Temptation
18) Sigma Power (hook only)

Euro Cup point standings after 4/6 competitions

1) Doris 58
2) Caesar 57
3) John Deere 54
4) Rocky 41
5) Sigma Power 31
6) Extreme Temptation 29
7) Bukke Bruse 20
8) Next Sensation 12