The finals of the Valtra Master Cup were held in March among the winning drivers from last year’s national competitions. The most skilful Valtra driver proved to be Radoslav Račák from Slovakia followed by Tets Kalvis from Latvia in second and Jean-Philippe Paraire from France in third.
The preliminary rounds of the Valtra Master Cup were held last year in several European countries as part of the Valtra Demo Tour roadshow. The best drivers from France, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Latvia qualified for the finals, which were held over the weekend in Kemi, in Finnish Lapland.
“I have never worked in these kinds of conditions before; driving on snow and ice was a completely new experience for me. I was unable to practice for these kinds of conditions, but the warmup lap before the start of the actual competition helped a lot. I focused on identifying all the dangerous and slippery places on the track before the start,” says Radoslav Račák, the happy winner of the Valtra Master Cup.
The idea behind the competition was to find the fastest driver who could navigate an obstacle course with the best precision. The finals were held on an ice track on the frozen sea, where the slippery surface and Arctic conditions presented their own challenges to the finalists. The course demanded excellent driving skills, precision and judgement, as well as a certain degree of risk taking.
In addition to the competition, Valtra and its partners FMG, Kesla, Nokian Tyres and AGCO Power also offered the finalists their latest equipment to try out in winter conditions. The competitors were able to try working with tractors in very unfamiliar conditions compared to their native countries – the type of conditions in which Valtra tractors are in fact designed and manufactured. The competitors also had the chance to experience the thrill of being driven across the ice by a professional rally driver.
“Driving the Tractor of the Year, the T254, with the new SmartTouch armrest was surprisingly simple. There have definitely been incredible advances in technology. I am now seriously considering purchasing an N174 Direct with the new armrest and forest equipment,” Račák concludes.
Over the past three years, Valtra has focused heavily on its European roadshow, nowadays known as Smart Tour. Travelling to meet the customers and offering them the chance to test drive Valtra tractors in real conditions has proven to be an effective way of demonstrating Valtra capabilities. It has been also a good platform to introduce latest models and state-of-the-art technology to the end customers. This year’s tour extends from January to November and will visit fourteen countries throughout Europe.