Jon Armstrong’s Rally Sweden ended in dramatic fashion as he crashed out of the event on the third stage.

The Kesh driver was contesting the first round of the Junior World Rally Championship in his Ford Fiesta R2 when he slid off the road at speeds approaching 100 miles an hour, tossing a telegraph pole and pirouetting through the air before coming to rest on a snow bank.

“It was a bit of a scary one,” Jon admitted.

“We just had too much speed. The angle of the corner was OK but I think it maybe narrowed a bit on the exit and we couldn’t make the corner. Even before we started to go sideways I knew I had too much speed, and at that point you are just hoping you are going be OK when the car finally stops.

"You don’t know what you are going to hit but I was going sideways down the ditch and I could see a telegraph pole. I was watching it coming towards me and it wasn’t the nicest feeling.

"We hit the pole at 95 miles an hour and it did a lot of damage to my side of the car.”

Jon and co-driver Noel Sullivan emerged relatively unscathed from the high speed off, with Jon going for a check-up at the local hospital before being given the all clear.

“Noel was OK and only had a cut on his hand but I had some pain in my neck and back so I went to get checked up in the hospital and get a scan on it, but it is all OK and it’s just bruising and muscle damage and it should heel up quick enough,” he revealed.

“I’m still stiff and sore, especially in the mornings. It was a big accident with a lot of G forces and a lot of head movement, and it was just nice that when it stopped that we were OK. It was definitely a scary one.”

Jon struggled with the set-up of the unfamiliar car in the opening stages of the event, and was well off the pace of the front runners in the Junior category, largely due to the fact he had not managed to carry out any testing with the Fiesta.

He was able to make some set up changes between stages however, and was starting to increase his pace before his spectacular demise.

“I was disappointed with my times on the first couple, but it was to be expected,” he said.

“On the third stage I was going really well and matching the split times of the guy that went on win the Junior. I did feel more comfortable on that stage but it wasn’t a case of over driving. I’m not really used to the wider roads that they have in Scandinavian countries because it makes it more difficult to adjust your speed and get the pace notes right. It was maybe the pace note wasn’t correct, but I need to figure it out to prevent that in the future.”

The five round series has a break until the second round in Sardinia in June, and with all drivers permitted to drop one score during the course of the season, Jon still has realistic hopes of challenging for the Championship.

“We will work towards going to Sardinia in June and hopefully nothing changes with those plans. We will try to have a better result there.”