BARROWFORD navigator Daniel Barritt saw plenty of reasons for encouragement at the Rally Sweden – despite a crash thwarting hopes of a top 10 finish. Barritt and driver Elfyn Evans sat in ninth place going into the 24th and final stage of the World Rally Championship event, before they slid wide in difficult conditions in their Fiesta RS WRC and hit a snow bank, forcing them to retire. “It damaged the radiator and unfortunately we couldn’t carry on,” said Barritt. “We didn’t want to carry on and risk damaging the engine. “It was a bit disappointing because it was going well but we still achieved quite a lot. “It was Elfyn’s first rally in those conditions and we more than held our own against people who are really experienced in those conditions. “The speed was good and the times were quite close, so it was very encouraging. “The conditions were difficult, everyone was expecting a full snow rally but the temperature actually went above zero the day before the rally. “By Friday and Saturday a lot of the snow was gone and we were driving on gravel, which isn’t easy in full snow tyres. It was a very different feeling. We had done a two-day test beforehand in northern Sweden when it was minus 10 degrees and fully iced roads, and in the end they weren’t the same conditions as the rally. But it was the same for everybody.” Welsh driver Evans, making his first appearance in the World Rally Championship this year, said: “We were achieving what we wanted from the event, improving the pace and on course for what would have been a good result for us, so it is really disappointing that it had to finish the way that it did. “We were going into a corner that tightened, but unfortunately I didn’t have that marked in the notes. “It wasn’t a very high speed incident by all means, but the back end stepped out and after that there wasn’t a lot we could do to save it. It is extremely disappointing to end the event like this, but at least we got through the majority of the stages. It was a good event in terms of gaining experience, so now we just need to take that forward and move onto the next one.” The duo are next in action at the Rally Guanajuato Mexico. The event starts on March 6, with Barritt and Evans travelling to Spain for testing beforehand.