News 2009

Caesar second in Euro Cup final and overall season results

1159 1Matti Herlevi driving in the EuroCup final in Bettborn, Luxemburg


Matti Herlevi and Caesar drove to second place in the Euro Cup final in Bettborn, Luxembourg and second overall in the Euro Cup for the 2009 season. The Euro Cup champion this year was also a Valtra tractor, albeit belonging to the Dutch team Next Sensation. Pekka Herlevi has helped the Dutch Valtra team over the years, and even built a competition engine in the past.

“The season went quite well considering the kinds of problems we had along the way. Second, fifth and ninth position in the Euro Cup is also respectable amidst such tough competition. Valtra tractors certainly performed well in Bettborn, taking five out of the top eight positions,” comments Pekka Herlevi.

The Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s tractors began to find their form only towards the end of the season. Going into the European Championships the team tried to maximise its performance, for example by cutting their tyres to save weight. The team looks like it is well prepared for the next season, as the tractors are already in fine shape.

“The first thing we will do is a hold a little meeting. We will introduce some changes for sure, but we can’t say yet exactly what. In any case we will begin building the tractors nice and early so that they are totally ready for the start of the 2010 season at the indoor event in the Netherlands next spring.”

1160 1Matti took second place in the EuroCup Championship

Johanna claims silver in European Championships

1157 1Silver medal for Johanna in European Championships


The Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s Johanna Herlevi took second place in the Pro Stock 3500 category of the European Tractor Pulling Championships in Bakel, the Netherlands on 13 September.

“My first pull hardly got off the line due to damage caused to the oil filter during transportation. The oil filter failed as soon as I increased the rpm on the start line. I felt pretty terrible, but fortunately I achieved a full pull on my second attempt and in the pull-off I ended up just 16 centimetres from the winner,” Johanna reports.

The competition was extremely close this year, with the top ten tractors pulling within five metres of each other in the final results. Altogether 6 out of the 19 tractors that participated in the Pro Stock 3500 category were Valtras. Caesar driven by Matti Herlevi came in 5th and Sigma Power driven by Pekka Herlevi in 12th. Matti’s performance suffered when the front end of his tractor began bouncing in the pull-off. This cost him a couple of metres and several positions in the final standings. The team has still to investigate the reasons for the poor performance of Sigma Power.

The European Championships were extremely well organised, and tens of thousands of spectators were on hand to enjoy the tractor pulling despite the slightly rainy weather on Sunday. The rain showers actually improved the condition of the track over the course of the day.

1158 1Matti Herlevi and Caesar in Bakel

Valtra 4th, 6th and 10th in Putten


Conditions were perfect for the Valtra Shell Pulling Team before last Saturday´s Pro Stock event in Putten, Netherlands. "The weather was beautiful, the pulling track was in very good condition and our tractors were in top condition", comments Matti Herlevi.

This time the team´s efforts to reach the podium did not pay off though. Matti finished 4th on Caesar, Pekka Herlevi 6th with Sigma Power and Antti Hyyppä was 10th with Doris.

"There was a lot of traction on the track. Antti and Pekka had to slow down acceleration to keep the tractor steady during the pull. The weighting of the tractors is definitely something that we will need to improve for the next EuroCup competitions", Matti explains.

The team is now back in Finland and preparing for next weekend´s competition in Tyrnävä. There will be some fine-tuning of the engines, and Sigma Power will already be tested with an improved weighting.

Top three places at Swedish invitational

1156 1Matti Herlevi took victory with Caesar


The Valtra Shell Pulling Team claimed the top three positions in the Pro Stock 3500 category at the invitational event held in Målilla, Sweden on Saturday 27 June. Although the competition was by no means the toughest of the season, the event was an important test for the team as it proved that the repairs made to Doris had been a success.

“The upper end of Doris’s engine was badly damaged last weekend, but we managed to make the necessary repairs during the week. We still have to make some fine adjustments in order to find the maximum power, but otherwise the engine is running fine now,” comments Matti Herlevi.

Matti took victory, his father Pekka came second with Sigma Power and Antti Hyyppä drove Doris into third place. The Finnish entry The Eagle, a Valmet tractor, came in fourth driven by Johannes Örn. Oh My Deere from Sweden came in fifth and Maja Peraja sixth.

The event was held in ideal conditions at the local speedway track in Målilla. Due to the restricted space in the middle of the track, the first round was run over 90 metres. In the pull-off the track was extended with a heavier sled to a full hundred metres. This was the first tractor pulling event ever held at the venue.

“The track was really good considering that this was the first pulling event held there. The surface was rather soft, but the traction was anyway good,” Matti adds.

On 4 July the team competed in Alahärmä, Finland with all four tractors. Countdown had to lend its injection pump to Doris before the Målilla event, but the team prepared Countdown for the next competition. Johanna Herlevi also returned to the wheel.

Doris damaged in Finnish Championship event in Haapajärvi


The Valtra Shell Pulling Team had bad luck at the midsummer pulling event held in Haapajärvi last Sunday. The injection pump timing on Johanna Herlevi’s tractor Doris was off by 20-25 degrees, which caused the pistons, cylinder liners and valves to break. On the plus side, the team’s other three Valtra tractors came in second, third and fourth.

“One of the lifters in the fuel injection pump on Doris malfunctioned. As a result, the entire upper end of the engine has to be replaced. Fortunately we have enough parts at home in Kälviä to fix her up and get Doris to next weekend’s competition in Sweden,” comments Pekka Herlevi.

The Pro Stock category of this year’s Finnish Championships has been dominated by Valtra-Valmets, as the only other tractor taking part is The Eagle driven by Johannes Örn. The entire Valtra team will participate in home events in Finland as often as possible, but if there are bigger competitions abroad at the same time, the team will be represented in Finland by Countdown driven by Johanna Herlevi. Johanna also intends to participate in one Euro Cup event in Herning, Denmark at the end of July.

Next weekend on 27 June the Valtra Shell Pulling Team will take part in an invitational event in Målilla, Sweden. This event is a late addition to the competition calendar. For Doris the event will provide an opportunity to test the repairs that are being made on her.