News 2000

The "Champs Race" in Trøgstad, Norway 16.9.


The successful weekend at Herning was by no means the last race of the season. The journey of the Valtra Shell Pulling Team continued from Denmark to Trøgstad in Norway to the traditional "champs race". The event was arranged by the Mini Breaker Team and in addition to the Valtra Team, teams from Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway had been invited and took part in the race. Approximately five thousand people had been gathered to follow this informal running of the pulling tractors.

Nine tractors competed in the Pro Stock class. The Valtra Team was strong with the European Championship gold, silver and bronze fresh in the memory. This time too, the Herlevi family won triple victory. Johanna came in first, Pekka second and Matti third. The whole Valtra Team was very even and this time Johanna’s hard-headed pull was the best on the slightly slippery track. The next positions went for the Norwegians with only minor difference to the winning team.

From Norway, the Valtra Shell Pulling Team will continue its trip to Bettborn, Luxemburg, where the last Euro Cup –race of this season will be held on the 24th of September.

European Championship race in Denmark - Valtra Pulling Team Mastering the Pro Stock

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September 10th was a historical day for Finnish tractor pulling. In Herning Denmark, in the Pro Stock class the Finnish Herlevi Family beat all their competitors and won triple victory in the European Championship race. Pekka, Matti and Johanna Herlevi had therefore all three medals to take home with. This exiting victory of the Finnish Team was witnessed by approximately one thousand Finnish pulling fans. The total amount of audience was 20 000.

The drivers for the European Championship race had been selected through the trial competitions. The pressures were on Peter Clarke and his tractor Red Hot as he had been pulling very strongly throughout the season. Also last years champion, Défi (driven by Robert Soenen) was likely to be in the winning team.

However, the Finns had been able to adjust their tractors to perform their best and in addition to the Valtra Team, only two other tractors were able to make it to the full pull. The Finns appeared to be too strong to be competed with. The difference between the first three were relatively minor and father Pekka was the strongest, Matti got the silver and Johanna the bronze medal.

Second Finnish Championship race held in Alahärmä 9.7.

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It had been raining the whole Saturday and Sunday morning when it suddenly stopped just before the FC tractor pulling race was about to begin at Alahärmä, Finland. Approximately 3000 people had arrived to see the pulls of the Finnish team. The audience got what it came to see in the first place: great pulls and close-run competition until the very last centimetres. In addition to this, the weather ended up to be nice and sunny and the atmosphere of the race was enjoyable and relaxing.

In the Valtra Team Johanna’s troubles with the turbo were gone and this was also seen in her pulls. Three Full Pulls gave promise of good results also in the future races. Johanna was pleased with her day: "Doris with the new turbo was totally different as it was only a week ago. This was partly the reason why I wasn’t able to pull the Full Pull on the first round. As I got to know how the tractor is behaving, it started to show results too."

Doris came in first and Sigma Power second. Juha Kujanpää with Volvo BM Bison cut in third and Matti Herlevi was left with the fourth place and was able to pull only few centimetres further than the fifth driver Jukka Vähätalo and his tractor Ursula.

Last week Doris and Sigma Power were fitted with new "electric brains". This new Datalogging System collects for example information about the boost pressure and exhaust pressure, the wheel speed of the back tyres and about the exhaust temperature of each cylinder. With this information fixing the tractor to the best possible performance is much easier than before.

Matti’s tractor Caesar will also have its own Datalogging System within two weeks, before the next race in Tyrnävä, Finland. This is hopefully going to improve the pulls of the tractor which have lately been relatively lame.

3rd Euro Cup race held in Hörby, Sweden 2.7.

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Ten tractors had signed up for the Pro Stock Cup race that took place in Hörby, Sweden and was the third one in the season.

Pekka Herlevi with his tractor Sigma Power started the race. Pekka was able to pull by far, the most impressive pull of the class. The next one to go from the Valtra Team was Johanna and tractor Doris. This time she did not succeed as well as her father. Doris was being tested with a new turbo and Johanna was not able to take a full advantage of the tractor and its powers.

Matti Herlevi with Caesar was suffering from similar problems as Johanna, but at the end was able to pull further than his sister. In addition to Pekka Helevi and Sigma Power, only one other driver, Peter Clarke with his tractor Red Hot, was able to pull the Full Pull.

The Pull Off was an exiting battle of the two troupers, Pekka Herlevi and Peter Clarke. The first to go was Sigma Power. Pekka Herlevi dashed ahead like a rocket, continued going with the front end sky-high, but suddenly stopped at 70 meters – due to the failure of the turbo.

Peter Clarke won this time, but the race in Hörby proved that Peter Clarke, or the tractor Red Hot, is not unbeatable as long as all the adjustments are correct and everything goes well.

There is only one more race left in the Pro Stock Cup. At the moment, among the best five in the class, there are three Valtra tractors. The Bettborn race in Luxemburg is surely to be exciting as both Pekka and Matti have good possibilities in catching up the leading tractor Red Hot.

Second Euro Cup race in Bernay, France 3.6.


Regardless of the cloudy weather on Saturday, over 15 000 enthusiastic pulling fans had gathered to follow the second Pro Stock Cup race at Bernay, France. During the entire weekend the amount of audience was over 25 000. At the pit, among the "pro stockers", the atmosphere was eager and exited. After all, for the first time since the winter, the best in Europe were present again.

It was already late on Saturday evening when the Pro Stocks finally made it to the tracks. From the Valtra Team the first one to go was Matti Herlevi with his tractor Caesar. However, the selection of the gears failed in the first round and it was only on his second try that he reached the Full Pull.

The next to go was Pekka Herlevi and Sigma Power. Some problems with the turbo unfortunately stopped his speedy drive too early. But the team did not give up. Quick adjustment at the pit and Sigma Power was ready for the second round. The work done during the break paid off and Pekka assured his place at the Pull off. While the team was working on Sigma Power, Johanna pulled a brilliant Full Pull with her tractor Doris.

At the Pull off Caesar packed up probably because of a too large gear. Johanna's Doris was not able to pick up the revs and was left without a result.

Sigma Power pulled very strongly but did not quite come down to his foregoers, Red Hot's result. This time the American import Red Hot, driven by Peter Clarke, was stronger. Matti with his Caesar missed 6 cm from the bronze.

All together Bernay offered a great framework for the race. The audience was big and supportive until the very end despite the fact that on Saturday the race continued until 2 a.m.!

Next time the Pro Stocks can be seen in Finland at the end of June.