Countdown claims surprise victory at tractor pulling European Championships09/11/2007
The battle for the European Championships in the Pro Stock class that was fought in Herning, Denmark proved to be the most exciting in years.
Countdown driven by Matti Herlevi surprisingly was the best of the team´s tractors in European Championships in Herning, Denmark.
The sled proved such a challenge that after two complete rounds only four tractors out of twenty qualified for the pull off. The all-or-nothing nature of the competition meant there were a lot of blowups as drivers tried to squeeze every last drop of power and a little bit more from their engines.
“This time Countdown performed best, which was admittedly quite a surprise,” commented Matti Herlevi, the winning driver.
Countdown is the Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s fourth tractor that Pekka Herlevi has built with the intention of selling. Winning the European Championship must be the best possible advertisement.
Of the team’s regular three tractors, Sigma Power driven by Pekka was the strongest, placing second overall. Caesar driven by Matti came in seventh and Johanna’s Doris came in eleventh. Johanna drove excellently, and her first pull was technically the finest of the entire competition, but the final meters were beyond her reach due to a valve problem.
Rocky from the Netherlands and John Deere from Denmark also qualified for the pull off. Much to the disappointment of the home crowd, John Deere came in fourth, while Rocky managed third. Among the Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s traditional competitors, Rough Justice from the UK also made a mark, having regained its form after a few quiet years. Rough Justice is now driven by Martin Nicholson’s son Ted.
The weather favoured the main event on Sunday in central Jutland. The categories that ran on Saturday had to cope with very strong winds and drizzle, but the Sunday competitions were held under warm and sunny autumn skies. The track was dry and hard, and one explanation for Countdown’s success was no doubt the different tyres it ran compared to the team’s other tractors. The wide-spaced and high pattern on Countdown’s tyres seemed to grip the track better than the more tightly spaced and low tyre patterns used by the other tractors. A total of approximately 20,000 spectators were on hand over the weekend to enjoy the tractor pulling. Over 80 tractors and cars participated in this year’s European Championships in eight different categories.
In addition to Matti and Pekka Herlevi Barend Huybregts from Holland appeared on the podium.