BUMPER BRUISE: Ott Tanak knocked off his diffuser on the Pilbara stage.
BUMPER BRUISE: Ott Tanak knocked off his diffuser on the Pilbara stage. Twitter

Early stages prove damaging for top drivers

BATTLING for a podium finish in the FIA Driver's Standings, Ott Tanak has damaged his car pushing it in a bid to make up time.

Currently sitting in third spot in the standings with 169 points, Tanak is just 14 points behind second placed Thierry Neuville.

But Tanak's push on special stage four at Pilbara lost his diffuser. Five-time champion Sebastien Ogier also lost his diffuser on the same stage.

Kris Meeke, Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi also suffered damage in the early stages.