Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Goodbye Team Zapo

The Zapo Pulling Team around Bennie Harmelink and Theo Broekhuis say goodbye from the Tractor Pulling Sport. In the beginning of the 2018 season, the team owners Bennie and Theo decided to retire from the Pulling in the end of the season. The Dutch Team from Bathmen, in the Netherlands was 31 years active in the Pulling Sport.
Bennie Harmelink and Theo Broekhuis started participating in regional Tractor Pulls in 1987. They pulled with two Tractors namely a Fiat 980 and a Fiat 1000. Many prizes were achieved by them. In 1991 the Tractor called ,,Torrino´´ of Kees Clemens was purchased. This Tractor was twice Dutch Champion in 1986 in the Super Stock class at the NTTO. After they having won everything in the regional competitions for two years, it was time to look further.
The Tractor had now been given a name: ,,Zapo´´. A combination of the two house names of Bennie and Theo: "Zandvert" and "Pöste".
In the year 1994, they started at the NTTO Pulls.
In the following year there was pulled with 3 turbos and a relatively small 5.5 liter engine that still had difficulty to perform well in the strong field.
In the winter of 1995 / 1996 a complete new Tractor was built with a 8.2 liter Fiat engine that was drilled up to 8.5 liters.
A completely new hood also was purchased. The years 1996 to 1999 were years with good results such as a second place in the Dutch Championships in the 4.4t class and a sixth place at the European Championships.
In the winter of 1999-2000 they switched from diesel to methanol. In the first year they had some difficulties, but at the end of the season it turned out to be fairly easy to master.
In 2005, a start was made on building a new Zapo. The familiar Fiat Winner hood was replaced by a New Holland TVT 190 hood and the frame also was renewed. The engine was replaced by a 6 cylinder Cummins on alcohol and the gearbox became a reverser. The new Component Super Stock made his maiden voyage at the Dutch Championship round in Cadzand 2006. In 2008, they finished in runner up position at EC in Bryne, Norway. In the end of 2009, Zapo received the ,,NTTO Puller of the Year" award. The best season what the Team had was 2015. They won the Dutch Championship and finished in 2nd in the Euro Cup point standings. They also received for the second time the ,,NTTO Puller of the year award´´ in 2015. 2 years later in 2017, they won again with their Tractor the Dutch Championship for the second time. This year in their final season, the Team took another 2nd place in Euro Cup point standings. Defnetly a nice end for the Team. The last and final hook for Zapo was at the European Championship in Alphen, the Netherlands. But it wasn´t a lucky day. After 20m a planetary gear broke in the rear axle and all chances for a good placement were gone. Only the last place at their final pull.
During the event, the team said goodbye and thanked all fans for their support over the last years.
What will happen with the Tractor. During the weekend, they announced the New Holland Tractor is sold to Germany. We will see in the next weeks and months who has purchased the Tractor from Germany.

We would also like to give a big thanks to the Team for the support during the last years and wish the whole Team good luck for the future ! 

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