Wolverhampton skipper Peter Karlsson's chances of a place in the 2007 Grand Prix series are now in the hands of the organisers after the most frustrating of fourth-place finishes in Saturday's qualifying final.

Karlsson, bidding for a place in the sport's elite for the first time since 2003, was in second place after five rides at Vetlanda, having dropped his only point to Danish star Hans Andersen.

But the meeting was decided by a final involving the top four riders on the night, with the first three in the one-off race winning places in next year's Grand Prix. As luck would have it, the two riders who were third and fourth after their five regular outings, Wieslaw Jagus and Rune Holta, finished first and second with Andersen third.

Organisers BSI will nominate four more riders for next year's series to add to the top eight finishers this year and Karlsson's hopes probably depend on how many Swedes are required.

The retirement of Tony Rickardsson in theory leaves an extra space if there are to still be three Swedish riders involved, with Andreas Jonsson a certain qualifier and Antonio Lindback likely to receive a nomination.

If a third Swede is selected, it is likely to be a straight fight between Karlsson and his Wolves team-mate Fredrik Lindgren - Karlsson clearly holding the advantage based on this year's form but Lind-gren, 16 years his junior, representing the future.

Wolves will be keen that the decision is reached as soon as possible as Karlsson had hinted at the possibility of quitting Elite League speedway were he to win back a spot in the Grand Prix.

In the meantime, they turn their attention back to their bid to snatch a place in the play-offs and should have no trouble in adding another three points tonight against basement club Arena-Essex.

The Hammers finally broke their 19-match losing sequence by beating fast-fading Poole on Friday, but it is hard to see them pulling off a similar result away from home even though Wolves legend Mikael Max makes his second return to Monmore Green.

Max missed out in Vetlanda, scoring just two points, although his prime focus remains getting himself back to fitness after his broken thigh of last year. His form for the Hammers has been inconsistent, but he and Finnish star Joonas Kylmakorpi will undoubtedly be the most dangerous visitors tonight.

Coventry are also at home, facing second-placed Peterborough without missing broken-leg victim Rory Schlein. On the positive side, German reserve Martin Smolinski should make his comeback after a month out with a coccyx injury for a match which the Brandon club cannot afford to lose.

Chris Harris was the topplaced British rider at Vetlanda, his fifth position putting him in contention for a nominated place next year and both he and skipper Scott Nicholls have had their share of run-ins with Andersen, the Peterborough captain, this season.