Every year the european Tractor Pulling outdoor season starts in Füchtorf (Nordrhein Westfalen) with guest from the Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, Great Britain, Switzerland and Italy.
The sunday started with the 3.5t Pro Stock class with 9 tractors. Some special guests couldn´t start in this class. The new Lady Green from the Netherlands wasn´t ready for Füchtorf as the paint of the John Deere hasn't dried in time. So, first in front of the sledge was Baby Bear from Great Britain. The Valtra was a little bit too light on the front at the end of the pull the tractor hit the track hard and that ended with a broken front axle at 86.86m. The Runaway Deer from the Broeks brothers got
track was Jörn Budding with his Red Evolution stage 2. Jörn´s Pull was good, but not good enough for the podium. With 91.43m, he was only 3cm behind the distance of the Ice Bear from Great Britain. Last to pull was Barend Huybregts with his IH 1066 Rocky. We do remember last year his Turbo Charger exploded here in Füchtorf with a big bang. But today, Barend made an excellent run in the final, with 94.84m, he was 11cm further than Arjan's distance and that was the win for Barend and his tractor Rocky!
The 3.5t Modified class had 12 tractors and half of the field made a Full Pull. The best of the not qualified tractors was Green Spirit 7 with Peter de Regt behind the wheel. The run of the single Griffon was good, but Peter wasn´t happy with the performance of the Griffon engine, 92.52m was the distance with only 2.5t weight !
Another interesting combination was the Silberfuchs from Germany with Ulrich Kropp. During the winter a third V8 Dart engine with Blower was put onto the chassis.. Unfortunately the transmisson between the two stock N/AV8s and the Dart V8 wasn´t the perfect match for this combo (the N/A V8s can't take the revs the blower engine could), only 58.57m for the men from Nottuln. The Adler with Jan Adler had bad luck today. After 14.61m it was the end with a broken
drive train and that was the last place.
First in the final was Starlight Express with Romano Mozzioni from Italy. The triple Allison was running with Turbos on all the Allisons for the first time this year. The Full Pull in his first attempt was a surprise for the Italians. In the the final, Romano set with 81.64m the distance to beat. Hans Zuurbier´s pull with Whispering Giant was better than Starlight Express pull in the final, but he was a litte bit to far at white line and he was out of bounds (disq) in the pull off. Local hero H-J Hörstkamp had in the qualifying heat a very fast Full Pull with his Green Fighter, but he couldn´t starts in the pull off. The Problem was a broken thrust washer in the Supercharger housing on the left Allison engine. Bad luck for H-J Hörstkamp. The run of Erlkönig with Matthias Vogelsang was better than Romano´s run, 89.72m was enough for the third place in the end. Another special guest in Füchtorf, it was the double Griffon The Judge from the Netherlands this year. The winner from Ahoy this year, set with 104.74m the new distance to beat. Theo Fijn and his crew members was very happy with this very good pull, but the question it was, was this run good enough for the win?. Last to pull in the final, was a another local hero and it was Tobias Hörstkamp with his stair step Allison Modified tractor Green Monster. Tobias took everything from his two Allison out. The great pull ends by 106.70m and that was the win for Tobias on his home event!
But, how was the premier of the new Bobcat Jr.? The first attempt starts very well, but Berrie break of his pull, between the 20m mark. The problem was a leckage at a Methanol line, but the team had fixed the problem on the track. in the 2nd attempt, the throttle was on the maximum and the front end of the mini was in the air after the start. Berrie Boer managed with no problems an easy Full Pull. The Team was very happy with this Pull. In the final Bobcat Jr. was the only tractor (Catweazle couldn´t started). The start of the run was the same than in the qualifing pull. Berrie made an excellent start, the front was in the air, but after 40m, the left Cepek Tyre lost the traction on the track and the Mini hit´s the ground hard. Luckely, the damage was not so big, only a broken steering and a front axle. But Crew chief Bertus Boer was very happy with this amazing premier of the new tractor, 1st place at the first start!
Now we wishes the hole Screamin´ Bobcat and the Lambada Team good luck with their Mini tractors in the USA and we hope the Team can beat US Teams at the NTPA Grand National events!
In the 2.5t Modifieds managed only 3 tractors the Full Pull, the most of the teams fighting with troubles on the track. Only with no problems was Final Destination with Karl Helmbrecht behind the wheel, 2 very well attemps with his Diesel turbo charged Transmash engine and a good 4th place. One place behind him, was Markus Pape with the Red Painter. After a one year absence, the team from Cloppenburg was back with their 2 Keith Black engine powered tractor. But it wasn´t a good day for the Red Painter, one of the two engines ran not very well today, so 71.55m.
Also, bad luck had the winner from the 3.5t Modified class, Green Monster with Tobias Hörstkamp. After the start, the Gearbox of the Pro Charger brokes and their Allison engine lost a lot of power, only 48.87m for Tobias.
Roude Leiw Junior was 2nd here last year, but this year was a dissapointing last place. The team decided to a problem with the supercharger of the radial engine. Smoking Devil got some changes over the winter, tractor is now lighter than last year. But they had troubles with the track, the transmisson of the transmash powered tractor was to quick and he got the power not on the ground.
First in the final was Roy von Hout with Green Spirit 7. The start of the single griffon was very well, but Roy came the left right line very close and he broke his Pull off, but the distance was 89.45m for the dutchman from Cadzand. Next was Jack Stijnen with Rocket Science, the ballance and the pull of the Alky DAF was perfect. Jack goes with a very well run and 103.55m into the lead. After the many problems last year, he was very happy with this pull.
Last to pull was the German Champion Frank Batholome and his single Griffon Le Coiffeur. But the pull wasn´t perfect, after the start Frank must a lot correct with his right single wheel break and in the end of the pull, the single Griffon was compltely crossways on the track and the tractor would nearly located on the left site. He was with this pull out of bounds (disq). But, what for a spectacular run!
Next in front of the Red Shadow TE sled, was the 3.5t Super Stocks, 5 of the 10 tractors managed an Full Pull. Bad luck today had Manon Kools and Interaction. After an Test pull, she had problems with the clutch of the IH and Manon couldn´t came from the start away. Also technical problems had Franz Peter Schäfer with his Fiat Super Agri. He came not from the start away. Mannheim Magic starts not in the Pro Stock class this year. Klaus Mühlenbrock drives in the Super Stock class (I don´t know why) this year, but the John Deere is defnetly under powered for this class, only 69.77m for Klaus from Recklinghausen. Our last year german champion in the Super Stock class Dschini Evolution had also problems. After a good Start, the hall encoder of the Deutz engine went broken, only 57.41m for Thomas Mathmann. D´n Aerdvruter has a new main sponsor this year, it´s Sömaelk and now the IHC called under the new name Sömaelk D´n Aerdvruter this year. But the engine of the IHC runs well, but in the middle of the 80m the engine lost the power. Only 92.44m for Gert-Jan Pauly from the Netherlands.
Now the finals, first in front of the sled was Rowan Zeinstra with his new Green Gangster Deere from the netherlands, it´s a John Deere with old 5020 hood and it looks very nice. The start and the balance of the old/new designed John Deere was very well, but short before the 90m mark a Planetary brokes in the rearaxle on left site and John Deere came to stop at 89.36m. Now that was the lead for the moment, but not long. Manon Kools drives today also the Mitas All or Nothing, it wasn´t the quickest pull, but she goes with the Case IH Puma a little bit more than 1m farer than the distance of the Green Gangster Deere, 90.55m for the lady from Cadzand. Next was the Euro Cup and Dutch Champion Sjors Zeinstra with Zeinstra New Born Deere from last year, but he was stopped by the sledge at 88.70m, that was enough for the 3rd place in the end. Zapo couldn´t catch the distance of the Mitas All or Nothing, he came over 7m to short.
Last to pull was the winner from two indoor events in Zwolle and Ahoy and that was Rabbit g´n Mad from Denmark. The big question it was, can Henrik Svenningsen beat the distance of the All or Nothing? The answer was no, Henrik came with his Ford 9600 over 6m to short and that was only 4th place with 84.40m for the men from Hjallerup in Denmark.
So, the last class in Füchtorf was the 4.5t Modified class with 7 starters. One german tractor was not here in Füchtorf today and that was the Iwan from Martin Ortkrass. The triple turbine tractor wasn´t ready after the rear axle damage at the indoor Pulling event in Ahoy, Rotterdam. Now, we come to the competition, Boomerang, Dandy and Erlkönig made some good runs, but the 3 tractors are under powered for this class. Starlight Express from Italy is defnetly not under powered for this class. Today, the triple Allison drove with turbo charged engines for the first time. The start was well, but at the 60m something brokes in the plenetary wheel on the left site of the rearaxle and Romano came at 73.68m to still. But one is for sure, the Turbo Allison engines runs well after the first 3 pulls!
Green Spirit 6 (also Green Spirt 7)got a new main sponsor, called Vervaet for this year. The Dutch company build self proppeld slurry tanker and self proppeld beet harevester. The tractor looks with this new sponsor and coulors great! The driver was Peter de Regt today. The start was very well, but at 70m the left engine had a huge backfire and Peter took the throttle away. So, Peter´s Pull ends by 96.23m. A second attemp was after this big backfire impossible, but distance was enough for the 3rd place. Now, only 2 tractors managed a Full Pull and that was Whispering Giant and Green Fighter. First to hook in the final was the quad turbine tractor Whispering Giant with Hans Zuurbier, with full speed Hans goes in the finals through 100m, the distance was, 106.97m!
The Full Pull was on 110m (floating finish). Last to Pull was the local hero Heinz-Josef Hörstkamp with the triple Allison Green Fighter. The pull was well, but Heinz-Josef came over 6m to short for the distance of the Whispering Giant.
text and pictures: Kevin Trumpp