News 2015

Valtra picks up two silver medals at European Championships

 

The European Championships in the most powerful form of motorsports in the world, tractor pulling, were held last weekend at the Valtra Pulling Arena in Brande, Denmark. Rainy conditions and numerous engine failures meant that the schedule has to be compressed and many categories had to compete on a “winner takes all” one-round basis. This applied also to Pro Stock 3500.

 

Team Herlevi is accustomed to success in this category. In the early 2000s the team claimed all three podium positions on numerous occasions. Since then, however, the competition has become a lot tougher, and making it onto the podium in the Euro Cup or at the European Championships requires a perfect performance. Last year the team failed to claim any of medals, so this year they had a lot to prove.

 

Top three make it past 100 metres 

 

A last minute change of track and diminishing daylight meant that competitors in the Pro Stock 3500 category had only one pull in order to post a result. Johanna Herlevi looked to have performed well with Doris, but the close competition meant her 95.23 metre pull was ultimately good enough only for ninth position. Matti Herlevi encountered an unexpected fuel feed problem with Mad-Croc Caesar and pulled up short at just 72 metres. Before Pekka Herlevi’s pull, the flag marking the best previous pull was already at the 100-metre mark. Sigma Power got off to a good start and claimed the lead in style, pulling 100.15 metres. Unfortunately, it was too early to claim the championship, as there were three more pulls to go. William de Vos from the Netherlands enjoyed a perfect pull with Extreme Temptation and recorded an unbeatable 106.77 metres.

 

“We really needed this silver medal! It gives us hope for the future and makes us believe in our potential,” commented Johanna Herlevi from the Valtra Mad-Croc Team’s pits as the evening grew dark. The sense of joy and relief could really be felt among the team members.

 

Valtra claims a second silver

 

Valtra and Finland were prominently on display at this year’s European Tractor Pulling Championships. More than ten Valtra tractors competed in both the Pro Stock and Super Stock categories, six of which were from Finland. Pekka Herlevi’s silver medal from Saturday was not the only medal for Valtra, as Aki Kylliäinen, this year’s Finnish champion in the Super Farmi 4500 category, also claimed second place with Forest King in the Super Sport (Farm Stock) 4500 category.

 

Two other Valtra tractors from Finland also competed in the Super Sport 4500 event on Sunday: Ville Pitkämäki claimed fifth with Hot Hunter while Tommy Karlsson had to make do with 13th position due to technical problems with Red Warrior.

 

The next generation of tractor pulling competitors took part in the Stock GP 500 category, where yet another Herlevi, Matti’s oldest son Lenni (11), claimed fourth position with Little Caesar. His little brother Ronni (6) was very disappointed not to be allowed to compete due to his age, but he was all the more active providing technical assistance in the garage.

 

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Englishman Andy Miller from the UK based Valtra Bear Essentials Team has been appointed President of the European Tractor Pulling Committee (ETPC), the governing body for the organisation, regulation and promotion of tractor pulling throughout Europe.  Andy has been active in the pulling scene for over 15 years both as a competitor and team manager but also as part of the British Tractor Pullers Association.  Former President Dutchman Jan Buitenhuis decided to resign after several years of service.

Sigma Power crowned Finnish Champion

The Herlevi Pulling Team’s tractor Sigma Power took victory in the Pro Stock 3500 class at the last round of the Finnish Championships in Alahärmä on 16 August. In the final point standings Doris came in second and Mad-Croc Caesar in third.

 

The Finnish Championships served mainly as a practice run for the Herlevi Pulling Team, as no other competitors took part in the Finnish Pro Stock class. Nevertheless, the spectators got to enjoy some fine pulls, as the team still put their tractors to the test.

 

“The tractors performed splendidly with no problems. Before the European Championships we will replace some of the parts, but otherwise we won’t make any changes. We’ll still do one more round of trial runs before the European Championships,” Matti Herlevi reports.

 

Doris and Mad-Croc Caesar already qualified for the European Championships on the basis of their success in the Euro Cup. Sigma required victory in the Finnish Championships in order to qualify for the European Championships, which will take place on Brande, Denmark, on 12 and 13 September.

 

SigmaPower

Herlevi team misses out on medals in Euro Cup

The Herlevi team was hoping for strong results in the final round of the Euro Cup in order to claim podium positions in the final standings. Unfortunately, it did not quite work out. Doris came in sixth, Mad-Croc Caesar in eighth and Sigma Power in thirteenth.

“The track was lousy. You had to find the right driving line and steer with the brakes, and still the nose could start bouncing if you came across a grippier part of the track,” comments Matti Herlevi.

On the positive side, all of the team’s tractors worked well without any problems. It also seems that all of the team’s tractors will qualify for the European Championships on the basis of their Euro Cup results or success in the Finnish Championships.

Next Saturday the team will take part in the Night Powerpull invitational event in Rødding, Denmark. The team will then focus on national events before the European Championships in September.

 

Third generation takes the wheel

 

The Herlevi family can now boast three generations of tractor pulling competitors. Ronnie Herlevi, son of Matti and grandson of Pekka, drove in his first competition in Målilla, Sweden. Even though Ronnie is just 6 years old, he competed in the category for 15 year olds. Ronnie has accompanied his family to tractor pulling events for years already.

 

At his debut Ronnie drove a 350-kilo mini-tractor that was tuned by his father and grandfather. The pulling distance for juniors is 30 metres, and Ronnie impressed everyone by completing a full pull in the pull-off!

 

third generation takes the wheel

Englishman Andy Miller from the UK based Valtra Bear Essentials Team has been appointed President of the European Tractor Pulling Committee (ETPC), the governing body for the organisation, regulation and promotion of tractor pulling throughout Europe.  Andy has been active in the pulling scene for over 15 years both as a competitor and team manager but also as part of the British Tractor Pullers Association.  Former President Dutchman Jan Buitenhuis decided to resign after several years of service.

Mad-Croc Caesar takes silver in Made

 

Matti Herlevi drove Mad-Croc Caesar to second place at the second to last round of the Euro Cup in Made, the Netherlands, on Sunday.

 

“The weather was rainy and the competition got off to a late start, so before the Pro Stock event it was decided to do just one pull. I pulled two centimetres further than John Deere 2 from Denmark and thought I had won, but we were called back to the track as we had both pulled over 110 metres. In the second pull the Danish tractor pulled just over a metre more than me and took the victory,” Matti Herlevi reports.

 

Mad-Croc Caesar gave it everything and even suffered engine damage at the end of the second pull, when Matti had already eased off the gas. The connecting rod came out through the side of the engine, but Matti is confident that the damage will be easy to fix as he has all the parts ready.

 

Doris driven by Johanna Herlevi also pulled strongly but made the mistake of driving along the right side of the track. The tractor hit a couple of grippy areas, causing it to bounce and make contact with the ground, which cost a couple of metres in the end.

 

Pekka Herlevi’s pull with Sigma Power was the least fortunate. The engine suffered small damage at the start of the pull and ran on only five cylinders. The Pro Stock category is so competitive these days that even the best tractors cannot afford to give the competition a one cylinder advantage, so Sigma Power ended up down in fifteenth position.

 

Among the other Valtra tractors taking part, Next Sensation from the Netherlands came in third and Countdown from Sweden in sixth. It is unfortunate that Countdown missed the opening round of the season, as if it posted a decent result there instead, it would no doubt have been among the leaders in the overall points standing.

 

Overall the event in Made was one big tractor pulling festival, as it always is. Tractors competed along three parallel tracks at the same time over three days. Despite the rain showers over 20,000 spectators attended the event over the weekend.

 

This was the fourth and second to last round of the Euro Cup, which culminates already in mid-July at the final round in Putten. Afterwards the teams can concentrate on their national events, invitationals and the European Championships in the autumn.

Englishman Andy Miller from the UK based Valtra Bear Essentials Team has been appointed President of the European Tractor Pulling Committee (ETPC), the governing body for the organisation, regulation and promotion of tractor pulling throughout Europe.  Andy has been active in the pulling scene for over 15 years both as a competitor and team manager but also as part of the British Tractor Pullers Association.  Former President Dutchman Jan Buitenhuis decided to resign after several years of service.