Oxford's Jason Plato reckons his MG’s pace out of the box has his rivals “quaking in their boots” as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship heads to Donington Park this weekend (April 14-15).

Plato will arrive at the East Midlands venue holding a surprise lead after Brands Hatch’s opening round ten days ago – a surprise because his MG KX Momentum Racing team had not expected their MG6 racer to perform so well on debut.

Plato achieved fourth and third places in the day’s first two races. He capped off a magical start to the season with victory in the third.

And he told btcc.net: “We’ve still got so much more time to find in me, in the car and in me getting the car to react how I want it to. There is an awful lot left to come yet.

“Clearly we’ve got pace and I think we are going to be quick at Donington.

“I’d imagine the others are quaking in their boots, and if they are not, they should be.”

But Plato, now with a record 69 race wins, plus two titles to his name, urged some caution, adding: “It’s still very early days and I don’t want to get too carried away.”

He believes MG’s return has already done wonders for its famous badge in terms of appealing to both loyal and new supporters.

“One thing I am 100 per cent sure about is we will win off track this year in the way we leverage MG’s participation,” Plato added.

“It’s the dawn of a new era.”

* Oxford's Nathan Harrison continues his challenge for glory in the Ginetta Junior Championship at Donington Park this weekend.

The 15-year-old, from Botley, stands sixth in the standings after round one at Brands Hatch, following fourth and eighth-place finishes.

Also at Donington will be Chipping Norton’s Fergus Walkinshaw, who competes in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup after rebuilding his car following a crash at the first round at Brands Hatch.

He said: “The Century Motorsport guys have pulled out all the stops to make sure I get back on track as soon as possible, and I am grateful.”