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Peter Karlsson

Full Name: Peter Gunnar Karlsson.
Born: 17 December 1969, Gullspang, Sweden.
Starting Average: 8.90.

Peter, the eldest of the three brothers in the 2003 side celebrates his testimonial this season, fittingly his tenth year with Wolves, and twelfth overall. He was recalled to the Wolves team last year after spending a couple of years elsewhere, and made a huge contribution to the team’s 2002 championship success. An automatic selection for the 2003 team, and a big favourite with Wolves’ fans, Peter is an aggressive character on track but a modest unassuming fellow off it… quite the Superman / Clark Kent combination!

Career Details
Peter first came to prominence in 1989, when he followed his win in the Nordic Under 21 Final with a shock win in the Swedish Final. He made his Wolves debut midway through the 1990 season at the age of 19, showing glimpses of potential in fourteen late season appearances. He had done enough to earn a return, but with National Service on the horizon, sat out the 1991 British season, and therefore missed out on the club’s first championship. He returned in 1992, and immediately made the leap to heat leader standard, forming a memorable partnership with the equally determined Graham Jones… not a combination to be meddled with!

Peter played a vital role backing up the Sam Ermolenko and Ronnie Correy combination as Wolves clinched the Premiership and Gold Cup in Peter’s first season. His progress continued in 1993, but the year was to end in heartbreaking fashion for the club. Peter was one of the few riders who survived the 1993 injury crisis, but he had the torment of missing out in that final race of the final match to Belle Vue which sent the title to Manchester in the cruellest of fashions.

Peter was now an automatic choice in the team, and pushed his average up to eight and a half in 1994. He scored over 500 points for the club who were still reeling from their 1993 title loss, and loss through injury of Ronnie Correy. 1995 was Peter’s big breakthrough season. With the British and National Leagues coming together, the reduced points limit put a lot of pressure on Peter and Sam Ermolenko at the top end of the Wolves team. Peter responded by achieving the almost impossible – overtaking Sam at the top of the Wolves averages. In an amazing season, he upped his average by over two points to ten and a half, securing twelve maximums in the process. At Monmore Green, Peter was almost unbeatable, and his thrilling overtaking went down in Wolves folklore.

1996 was perhaps even better for Peter, as Wolves swept the board with a league and cup double. Peter contributed over six hundred points and fourteen maximums in a memorable season. The formation of the Elite League in 1997 meant that standards in the top division were higher than ever, and Wolves fortunes dipped alarmingly. None more so than Peter, who seemed to have lost much of his fire and aggression and his average dropped by almost two points.

Despite a disappointing 1997 campaign, it came as quite a shock to many fans when the Wolves management decided to drop Peter from the side when planning the 1998 team. Nobody was more surprised than Peter, who was reported to have considered CVS’ phone call informing him of the decision as a practical joke, which perhaps supported CVS’ opinion that Peter had become too comfortable, even complacent at Monmore Green. With the team struggling, the Wolves management made quite a climb down by offering him the chance to return mid season. Peter declined, and sat out the British season, concentrating on his Swedish commitments.

He returned to Monmore in 1999, but this was another disappointing season for Peter and Wolves. After a bright start, results declined rapidly, and with key injuries hitting hard, the team slumped to bottom of the league. Peter’s enthusiasm suffered in such a struggling side, and his average fell to 8.27. With Peter’s partner expecting twins early in 2000, he opted to stay at home in Sweden for the following season. With the Wolves team planned without him, when he was ready to return after a couple of months of the season Peterborough moved quickly to take him on loan. He soon mastered the sweeping turns at Alwalton, averaging over ten around his new home track. This was a much happier season for him, and he won the GP Challenge meeting at the end of 2000 to regain a place in the GP series for 2001.

The Panthers, surprisingly decided not to retain him for 2001 (they opted for Mark Loram instead), and Peter moved to Kings Lynn. After a good start to the season which saw his average climb towards nine again, Peter was involved in a horrific accident with Lukas Dryml on 30 May at Kings Lynn. Peter suffered a broken hip which was to keep him out of action for over ten weeks and ruin his return to the GP series. When he was fit to return in August, the Kings Lynn management opted to allow him to leave – no doubt in a bid to cut costs. Peter moved to Belle Vue, where he proved to be a rare bright spot in another dreadful season for the Aces. He wasn’t quite at his best after the long lay off, but easily topped the Aces averages.

The Aces would have happily seen him return in 2002, but CVS moved quickly to grant Peter’s wish to return home to Monmore Green. It turned out to be Peter’s best season for the club for many years, and he combined superbly with his brother Mikael to help bring the Championship back to Wolverhampton. He again showed his liking for Monmore, averaging over ten points in home matches, highlighted by a superb 20 point return against Eastbourne in April, and a run of five maximums in six home matches in a superb spell in August and September.

Peter Karlsson

M

R

P

BP

T

Ave

F

P

1990

Wolves

D1

14

55

58

7

65

4.73

0

0

1991

Did not ride

1992

Wolves

D1

27

114

201

21

222

7.79

0

1

1993

Wolves

D1

44

245

448

48

496

8.10

0

2

1994

Wolves

D1

42

235

482.5

18

500.5

8.52

1

0

1995

Wolves

D1

38

202

507

23

530

10.50

6

6

1996

Wolves

D1

46

237

574

27

601

10.14

8

6

1997

Wolves

D1

47

252

492

35

527

8.37

0

3

1998

Did not ride

1999

Wolves

D1

38

196

385

20

405

8.27

0

0

2000

Peterborough

D1

28

143

291.5

19

310.5

8.69

2

1

2001

Kings Lynn

D1

14

64

135

5

140

8.75

0

2

2001

Belle Vue

D1

8

39

73

5

78

8.00

0

0

2002

Wolves

D1

42

212

453

36

489

9.23

2

5

Career Total

388

1994

4100

264

4364

8.75

19

26

Wolves Total
338
1748
3601
235
3836
8.77
17
23

Mark Rowe

..

Acknowledgements:
Many photographs on this site are copyright/courtesy of John Hipkiss - Wolverhampton Track Photographer.
The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the promotion/management of Wolverhampton Speedway.
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