Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene - By Matt James Photos:, Ed­die Walder

The Thun­der 500 win­ner Shane Mur­ray says that his plan is to con­quer the Na­tional Hot Rod World Fi­nal in 2017.

The North­ern Ir­ish­man stunned Na­tional Hot Rod reg­u­lars by out­pac­ing them all in the Thun­der 500 fi­nal on Satur­day night to land his first big prize since step­ping in to the for­mula.

The 27-year-old has been a reg­u­lar in two-litre hot rods and won the world ti­tle in that cat­e­gory, but de­cided to step up to the na­tional divi­sion at the start of this sea­son.

He has been rac­ing in North­ern Ire­land, but has had a troubled start to his Na­tional Hot cam­paign and hasn’t ac­crued enough points to tackle this year’s World Fi­nal, which takes place in two weeks’ time.

“I only bought the car at the start of the sea­son,” he ex­plained. “I broke my wrist play­ing foot­ball, so I haven’t been able to race that much. I have done four meet­ings at home and I won on my first run in the car, so I know I have a good ma­chine. Since we bought it, we have re­built it from the chas­sis up with new sus­pen­sion and all sorts of things, so it is a top-notch car.”

Mur­ray is plan­ning a full at­tack on the points cham­pi­onship in his home­land when the 2016/2017 sea­son be­gins in Au­gust, and is aim­ing to qual­ify for the World Fi­nal in 2017. “I was sur­prised by my pace at the Thun­der 500, and that has made me des­per­ate to qual­ify next year,” he said.

Mur­ray, whose brother Andrew fin­ished sec­ond in the World Fi­nal last year, will be rac­ing his two-litre car at Ip­swich on July 2/3 on the un­der­card.

Mur­ray claimed the Thun­der 500 win Mur­ray: 2.0 grad­u­ate

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