News 2011

Countdown fifth in European Championships

1173 1 The European Championship was Johanna Herlevi´s first competition since the birth of her baby girl in June.
The Valtra Shell Pulling Team fell short of expectations in this year’s European Championships. At their home event in Alahärmä, Finland, Countdown took fifth place, followed by Sigma Power in eighth, Doris in ninth and Caesar in fifteenth. Victory went to a surprise name from the Netherlands, Daniel Vriends with his tractor Neighbours Nightmare.

“This was our worst result ever in the European Championships. Caesar broke a crankshaft on the first pull, and Sigma Power had to be steered with the brakes when it jumped to the right, costing almost ten metres in distance. Our other tractors lifted too much at the front because of the high levels of grip,” explains Pekka Herlevi.

The excellent track conditions offered lots of traction, which was an advantage for tractors built with a long, purpose-built frame.

“We have to start considering a tubular frame ourselves, as it would give us more weight over the front. Tubular frames are also more flexible, which gives better traction,” says Pekka.

The event itself was a big success. The European Championships in Alahärmä attracted competitors from 70 different countries and 20,000 spectators over the two days. The weather was also excellent, with only a few clouds on Saturday and bright sunshine on Sunday.

The event was funded in part by a lottery, in which first prize was a Valtra A93 HiTech tractor. The lucky winner was Pentti Vähätiitto, a peat contractor from Pyhäntä who had purchased his lottery ticket at the Finnish Championship event in Haapajärvi already in the beginning of the summer.

European Championships to take place in September in Alahärmä, Finland


All four of the Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s tractors have qualified for the European Championships. Tractors can qualify on the basis of success in either national championships or the Euro Cup. In addition, the previous year’s European Champion qualifies automatically to defend the championship.

“We are focusing all our efforts on the European Championships, which are being held this year on home turf. Before the event we will still make changes to the intercoolers on two of our tractors and make a few test pulls. We will also be able to change coolants between pulls, which has not been possible at all venues. Let’s just hope that the weather is good in Alahärmä,” Pekka Herlevi says.

The European Championships will take place in Alahärmä, Finland, on the weekend of 3-4 September. The Pro Stock event will take place on Sunday in the early afternoon after the first category, which starts at 11:30 in the morning.

Surprise ending to the Euro Cup season


The Pro Stock category in the Euro Cup tractor pulling competition came to a premature end when the final event in Herning had to be cancelled due to rain. The previous event in Putten, the Netherlands, was also cancelled due to rain. Since the traditional tractor pulling event in Luxembourg was not on the calendar this year, the final standings were based on the results of the first three events at the beginning of the summer.

“This year’s Euro Cup was of course a disappointment due to the rain. It’s not fun to drive all the way from Finland to Holland or Denmark for nothing. It feels like the competition was incomplete. We had made and were continuing to make improvements to our tractors, including to the turbos, intercoolers and even tyres, which we were unable to use, at least in the Euro Cup,” comments Pekka Herlevi.

In the final standings of this year’s Euro Cup in the Pro Stock category, the Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s tractor Caesar ended up third with same points as number two, Countdown was in fifth, Sigma Power sixth and Doris twelfth. Due to Johanna Herlevi’s maternity leave, Doris did not compete in the Bernay event, which was reflected in the total points. As European champion last year, Doris still automatically qualifies for this year’s European Championships.

Doris takes victory in the Finnish Championships

1172 1Matti Herlevi making a full pull with Caesar in the Alahärmä competition in June.
He and the rest of the team will return to Alahärmä for the European Championships in September.


Matti Herlevi has driven Doris to victory in the Pro Stock category of the Finnish Championships, just a point and half ahead of Sigma Power. Countdown came in third and Caesar fourth. The victory also qualifies Doris automatically for the European Championships.

“We were the only team to compete in the Pro Stock category of the Finnish Championships this year. Still, we made some impressive pulls and used the event to test our machinery and fight for superiority within the team,” Pekka Herlevi reports.

Euro Cup event in Herning cancelled due to rain


The Euro Cup tractor pulling competition in Herning had to be cancelled due to heavy rain. Although a few pulls were made in the Pro Stock category, the downpour made it impossible to continue as the track conditions deteriorated.