News 2013

Silver and bronze in this year’s Euro Cup


Valtra tractors took silver and bronze medals in the final standings of this year’s Euro Cup. Although first place was already out of reach before the last round in Parma, Italy, Valtra tractors nevertheless succeeded in holding on to second and third places. In the final standings, the Herlevi family took silver with Sigma Power and Sweden’s Christian Rudén took bronze with Countdown.


This was the first year that the Euro Cup included a round in Italy. For the teams competing with Valtra tractors, the long journey didn’t pay off as well as hoped for. Ice Bear, Baby Bear and Mad-Croc Caesar all suffered various technical problems and ended up down the standings. Gangnam Style, Countdown and Sigma Power managed fourth, fifth and sixth positions, enabling them to maintain their good overall positions in the final standings.


The Herlevi family’s season still continues during the first weekend of October at an invitational tractor pulling events in an open-sided arena in Gamst, Denmark. After that begins the winter break that will be spent working on the machinery and attending trade fairs. The Herlevi family at least promises some big changes to their tractors for the 2014 season.


Parma, Italy results

Euro cup overall points

1-2-3 for Valtra tractors at European Championships


Valtra tractors claimed the top 3 positions at the European Tractor Pulling Championships in Zele, Belgium, on Sunday. Matti Herlevi driving Caesar was crowned European Champion in the Pro Stock category, while Jurian Duijn from the Netherlands took silver with Next Sensation and Johanna Herlevi third with Gangnam Style. This is the fifth time that Valtra tractors have made a clean sweep of the European Championships, although it has been several years since the last time. Matti Herlevi has now won the European Championships six times, while his father Pekka has won it four times and sister Johanna two times.


“We spent many hours in the garage last winter thinking of ways in which we could further improve our tractors. For example, we rebuilt our transmissions to make them more durable with fewer gears. We also increased the amount of valve lift in the engines, and we made deeper recesses in the pistons before the start of the season. We took some risks, in other words, but it was well worth it in the end,” says Matti Herlevi.


The competition was extremely tight, as it has been throughout the season. The tractors are separated by so little that the positions were decided by just a few centimetres. The tractors were also so well tuned that they all made it thought the first pull easily with the exception of Mud Patrol, which suffered a broken front axle. In the pull-off the tractors continued to pull so convincingly that in the end the top 15 tractors were separated by less than ten metres.


The Belgian organisers managed to keep the track dry and grippy despite rain showers the previous day. Around 10,000 spectators were on hand on both days to watch the championships.




triple victory 1

triple victory 4

triple victory 3

triple victory 2

Second and third places for Valtra tractors in the French round of the Euro Cup


The Dutch Valtra tractor Next Sensation took silver and Sigma Power driven by Pekka Herlevi bronze at the second to last round of the Euro Cup in Sens de Bretagne, France. The Herlevi team’s Mad-Croc Caesar got a little too carried away in the pull off and blew a piston. Gangnam Style, driven by Johanna Herlevi, suffered from a blown turbo bearing at the start and could only manage eleventh position.


In the overall Euro Cup standings, John Deere 2 from Denmark is in the lead, followed by two Valtra tractors: Next Sensation and Sigma Power. Altogether there are six Valtra tractors in the top ten.


Four out of the five rounds of this year’s Euro Cup have now been held. John Deere 2 has sealed victory already, but positions two to ten are still separated by only a few points, so the remaining positions can still change. The teams are now heading for various invitational events before the European Championships in Zele, Belgium, where the Pro Stock category will be competed on 15 September. The season ends with the last round of the Euro Cup in Parma, Italy, at the end of September. Parma will be a new venue for all the Valtra teams and demonstrates how the sport is growing in popularity in Southern Europe.



Room for improvement in Herning


The Herlevi Pulling Team was hoping for more in the third round of the Euro Cup in Herning, Denmark, at the end of July. Pekka Herlevi put in the team’s strongest performance with Sigma Power, taking sixth position. In the pull-off he tried to find more traction along the right edge of the track, where others hadn’t yet driven. This proved to be a mistake, as he was unable to accelerate sufficiently at the start of the pull on the soft surface. Matti Herlevi favoured the left side of the track with Caesar, but there the traction was almost too much for the low air pressure in the tyres and the tractor began bouncing, reducing both traction and speed. The end result for Matti was seventh position. Gangnam Style, driven by Ville-Matti Vuolletti, suffered from teething problems after alterations were made to the tractor. The boost pressure pipe disconnected already on the first pull damaging the turbo, leading to a lacklustre result of thirteenth.


There are still six Valtra tractors in the top ten of the Euro Cup point standings. Countdown from Sweden is in second and Sigma Power in third. Not much separates second and tenth in terms of points, so anything can still happen in the remaining two rounds.


The Herlevi Pulling Team continues to rack up the miles on the road, competing in Germany, France, Belgium and Italy at the end of the season. The Finnish tractor pulling season is over for the team, as the last round in Nurmes is scheduled on the same day as the event in France. This year’s Finnish Tractor Pulling Champion is Matti Herlevi, followed by Ville-Matti Vuollet and Johanna Herlevi in second place alternating drives with Gangnam Style. Pekka Herlevi rounds out the top three medal positions with Sigma Power.



Silver and bronze in the Dutch round of the Euro Cup


Valtra tractors put in a strong performance in the second round of the Euro Cup in Made, the Netherlands, on 16 June. Pekka Herlevi drove Sigma Power to second place, while Matti Herlevi took third place with Mad-Croc Caesar. Valtra tractors also improved their positions in the overall Euro Cup point standings, with no less than six Valtras now inside the top ten.


“Caesar shut down completely during the pull off, but luckily we were carrying enough speed to take third position. Gangnam Style in turn suffered a broken throttle shaft in the fuel pump already in the first round, so we certainly have lots to fix before the midsummer competition in Haapajärvi, Finland. Still, the overall standings in the Euro Cup look good, even if JD from Denmark is still in the lead,” says Matti Herlevi.


Valtra Countdown, driven by Christian Rudén from Sweden, is now fourth in the overall standings, right behind Gangnam Style, driven by Pekka and Ville-Matti Vuollet. Mad-Croc Caesar is in sixth. Ice Bear, driven by Mike Simmons from Great Britain, is in eighth, and Next Sensation from the Netherlands is in tenth.


The tractor pulling weekend in Made attracted many spectators, who could follow the competitions on several parallel tracks. The weather was partly cloudy, allowing good grip with the right tyres.