News 2010

Dutch Valtra claims Euro Cup title

1166 1Next Sensation at the European Championship in Hörby


The last round of the Euro Cup that was due to be held on Sunday in Bakel, the Netherlands had to be cancelled due to persistent rain. Since the event could not be run, all the competitors who had arrived in Bakel were awarded the same number of points. This means that the Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s strong sprint to the finish line in recent weeks was cut short, and the standings from the previous rounds remain unchanged. Accordingly, Sigma Power was fourth, Caesar sixth, Doris eight and Countdown fourteenth in the overall point standings.

Even though the Valtra Shell Pulling Team did not claim the Euro Cup title this year, another Valtra tractor did. Next Sensation from the Netherlands took victory by five points over Rocky, another Dutch tractor. Next Sensation also claimed the Dutch championship, which is by far the most competitive national tractor pulling series. In the European Championships, Next Sensation came in second place.

The Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s season is over for this year. The team is satisfied with its gold and bronze medals from the European Championships, but the cancellation of the last round of the Euro Cup was a disappointment considering the team’s strong performance in recent weeks. With the new turbos and other changes that were made to the tractors, the team’s tractors could have improved their positions significantly in the last round.

Johanna Herlevi wins European championship, Matti third

Johanna Herlevi is European champion 2010


Johanna Herlevi drove Doris to victory in the Pro Stock 3500 category at the European Tractor Pulling Championship in Hörby, Sweden. Johanna last claimed the championship 12 years ago. Her brother Matti Herlevi drove Caesar to the bronze medal position.

“In the beginning it looked really bad, as Countdown stalled twice on the start line. Luckily I was the first competitor to pull, so my first attempt was just a test run. Still, I felt very confident, because when I started my third pull with Doris I knew where the problem was and that it had been fixed,” Johanna commented.

Her father Pekka Herlevi did not have so much luck, as Sigma Power suffered a gearbox failure in the first pull. The Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s third tractor Countdown placed sixth. The overall success of Valtra tractors was backed up by Next Sensation from the Netherlands, which came in second.

“The engine in Doris was damaged a week ago at the Euro Cup event in Bouconville, France when one of the cylinders water jets was clogged. I have to admit that we had a bit of a hurry with the repairs, as the journey from France to Finland and then to Sweden took its own time. Nevertheless, we still managed to make a few test pulls before the event.”

Doris, Sigma and Caesar have all received new turbos in recent weeks that offer around one bar of extra boost pressure thanks to better bearings and other improvements. The tractors’ new tyres have also been softened somewhat, in part by driving long distances with low air pressure. The engines’ valves have also been further developed.

The team has a busy week ahead before the Euro Cup finals in Bakel, the Netherlands next weekend. In the overall Euro Cup standings Sigma Power is still in the best position among the team’s tractors, but it will have to have its transmission repaired in a hurry at the workshop belonging to the Next Sensation team. The point standings are so tight that the Valtra Shell Pulling Team could claim the top three positions, but it is also possible that the team will go home without any medals.


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Silver and bronze go to Caesar and Sigma Power


The Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s tractors Caesar and Sigma Power improved their positions in the Euro Cup Pro Stock 3500 category by placing second and third in last Sunday’s event held in Bouconville, France. The overall standings were made much more even when Extreme Temptation took a surprise win, while the season’s leaders had to settle for lower positions. Matti Herlevi drove both Caesar and Doris, while Pekka Herlevi drove Sigma Power.

“Caesar and Sigma performed well with each pull. We had a lot of power, and thanks to the dry track we could also get the power down,” comments Pekka Herlevi.

Doris, on the other hand, experienced troubles. Due to uneven fuel injection, at least one of the tractor’s pistons was damaged.

“We now have a week at home to fix Doris. We will have to replace at least the pistons and cylinder liners. Before the European Championships we plan to fit a new turbo to the other tractors and test them all using a low-bed trailer. So we have a lot of work to do!”

Both Caesar and Sigma Power have already qualified for the European Championships to be held in Ekeröd, Sweden on 5 September based on their Euro Cup standings. Countdown in turn has qualified thanks to its success in the Finnish Championships. It is uncertain whether Doris will participate, however. The last chance is either the addition of an extra representative for Finland or if the Finnish team has room for one more Pro Stock tractor.

The Euro Cup final has been moved from Bettborn in Luxembourg to Bakel in the Netherlands, and the event will be held a week earlier on 12 September. Caesar and Sigma Power are going into the final event in an exciting position. The point standing is so close right now that a top-two finish is just as possible as a result closer to the bottom 10.

Even competition in Herning


Pekka Herlevi took third place with Sigma Power in a very even EuroCup competition in Herning, Denmark, 24-25 July. The weather and track conditions were perfect, so the spectators could see plenty of full pulls.

Valtra Shell Pulling Team was present with all four machines. Matti Herlevi drove to eighth place with Caesar and Johanna Herlevi came in on position 9 with Countdown and 12 with Doris. "The EuroCup competition has been very even this season, and even small irregularities with the equipment or during the pull can have a big impact on the final standings", comments Pekka Herlevi.

The team will now concentrate their efforts on the next EuroCup competition in Bouconville, 21-22 August. "We have already been testing a new turbo with view to the European Championship in Sweden. Now we will need to make sure that all our tractors qualify" says Pekka.

EuroCup standings after the Bouconville competition decide who gets to go to the European Championship in September. To qualify the tractor´s overall EuroCup points need to be greater than 50% of those of the EuroCup leader. In addition, there is one slot for the winner of the Finnish Championship, which is currently lead by Countdown.

Lack of grip in Made

1163 1Pekka Herlevi and Sigma Power


The third round of the Euro Cup in Made, the Netherlands, was relatively successful for the Valtra Shell Pulling Team. All the tractors functioned well, but grip proved to be rather hard to find. The new tyres they are using appear to be different than the old ones. Some teams who are using the same type of tyre have even exchanged their new ones for the old ones. The Valtra Shell Pulling Team is looking into how different weights, rotation speeds, cuts, pressures and other adjustments affect grip.

In the competition in Made, Sigma Power came in third, Doris fifth and Caesar sixth. Valtra Next Sensation from the Netherlands continued its superb form this season with a win that takes it to the top of the Euro Cup standings. Sigma, Caesar and Doris are now in fourth, fifth and sixth positions, twenty points behind the top positions with four rounds to go.