Johanna last claimed the championship 12 years ago. Her brother Matti Herlevi drove Caesar to the bronze medal position.
“In the beginning it looked really bad, as Countdown stalled twice on the start line. Luckily I was the first competitor to pull, so my first attempt was just a test run. Still, I felt very confident, because when I started my third pull with Doris I knew where the problem was and that it had been fixed,” Johanna commented.
Her father Pekka Herlevi did not have so much luck, as Sigma Power suffered a gearbox failure in the first pull. The Valtra Shell Pulling Team’s third tractor Countdown placed sixth. The overall success of Valtra tractors was backed up by Next Sensation from the Netherlands, which came in second.
“The engine in Doris was damaged a week ago at the Euro Cup event in Bouconville, France when one of the cylinders water jets was clogged. I have to admit that we had a bit of a hurry with the repairs, as the journey from France to Finland and then to Sweden took its own time. Nevertheless, we still managed to make a few test pulls before the event.”
Doris, Sigma and Caesar have all received new turbos in recent weeks that offer around one bar of extra boost pressure thanks to better bearings and other improvements. The tractors’ new tyres have also been softened somewhat, in part by driving long distances with low air pressure. The engines’ valves have also been further developed.
The team has a busy week ahead before the Euro Cup finals in Bakel, the Netherlands next weekend. In the overall Euro Cup standings Sigma Power is still in the best position among the team’s tractors, but it will have to have its transmission repaired in a hurry at the workshop belonging to the Next Sensation team. The point standings are so tight that the Valtra Shell Pulling Team could claim the top three positions, but it is also possible that the team will go home without any medals.