The road to victory is made of hard work and very little talk... —.
Dream and reality.
Although he’s still a little boy Dean Rosso already loves spending time at the garage, observing his father and brothers at work, while dreaming of fabulous adventures with his inseparable friend - and fellow car fanatic - Joseph Ferri.
Dean is fascinated by what engines represent: a sense of freedom, of power... and auto racing is the highest expression of all these concepts.
Joseph is awed by the incredible complexity of those mechanical marvels. Not a Sunday goes by without them watching the weekly Formula New Grand Prix. Dean and Joseph are always in the front row, sitting on the floor a few feet from the TV, their eyes firmly fixed on those magnificent cars zooming through the screen. Years go by and they move from the floor to the couch, but the look in their eyes remains the same.
Farewells and departures.
Dean's parents want him to get an education: eventually the garage will be passed down to the children, and someone will have to handle the business aspects. So Dean says goodbye to his friends and heads to Now York. Joseph leaves too: he's off to New Perth, in the Oceanic Quadrant, to study engineering. Many years will pass before the two friends meet again.
After graduating, Dean returns home with a degree in his pocket and lots of ideas in his head. He convinces his dad to re-brand the garage and specialise in vintage cars... rare and expensive stuff, especially after the Transformation. The move proves successful: business picks up, wealthy clients come streaming in and bank accounts grow.
A new journey.
Meanwhile, Joseph has specialised in race car design and within a few years has become a sort of superstar in the world of motor sports. Every team wants a piece of him. His innovative designs help make Formula New one of the most popular sports in the world. Whenever Joseph is back in town, the two buddies hang out like in the old days.
And during one of their get-togethers, the idea of starting a racing team come up, almost as a joke... but Dean can’t stop thinking about it. Months later, Joseph arrives with an amazing piece of news: he may have found a sponsor for their team; he's already drawn a few sketches of the prototype, but he needs help putting it together.
The dream is reality.
The pair work day and night on their one-seater prototype and, with some help from Dean's brothers, they convince the sponsor to invest in their project. Now they need a driver. Dean has someone specific in mind: a young talent with an impulsive and fiery temperament; someone who could have had it all, but threw it all away in one moment of rage.
Someone who has nothing to lose: Lucas Hoth.
All that's missing is the team's name. Dean suggests “Team Ferri/Rosso”, but Joseph doesn’t like it. Nobody in the racing world knows him as Joseph Ferri: for everyone, he’s simply “Doc”. Dean mulls it over, then accepts. The Red Racing Team is born.
Your problem isn’t arrogance, Lucas, it's that so far you’ve always come in second... —.
An unstoppable force. An immovable obstacle.
From a young age he shows promise in sports, but his impulsive nature and his unwillingness to play within a team prevent him from succeeding.
He gets his first taste of motor sports at the relatively late age of 17, taking part in races among friends.
What started as a rebellious pastime turns out to be a true passion. Lucas seems born to race cars. He quickly develops a reputation as a fearless, unbeatable driver... until an accident (caused by his own recklessness) lands him in the hospital for over a month.
A new opportunity. A new opponent.
In the hospital, he receives a visit from legendary Formula New champ Ben O, who recognises his talent and invites him to enrol in his school for young drivers, the O-Academy. There, he meets Jim Jager, his greatest rival: toe-to-toe, the two quickly rise through the ranks of the lower racing series. Then Ben O announces his upcoming retirement and that he will soon nominate his successor.
Lucas is aware he's one of the candidates: all he needs to do is win the last race of the season... and with it, the title. But nerves plays a mean trick on him: on the last turn before the homestretch, Lucas botches a line losing precious tenths of a second. Jim seizes the opportunity, speeding away to the chequered flag. And to the title.
A leap into darkness. An outstretched hand.
Back in the pit Lucas is furious... with his team, with the mechanics, with the world. In a fit of rage, he tosses his helmet against the wall and storms out.
The following day, Ben O announces his successor: it's Jim Jager. A short while later, the media report that Ben O has died, having been ill for some time.
The news pushes Lucas even deeper into depression: everything he'd fought for is gone, and it's nobody's fault but his own. He doesn’t leave his house for weeks, refusing to answer calls or messages... he’s become a recluse. While he's wallowing in this miserable state, Dean Rosso turns up offering him a car for the upcoming season.
Your secret, Jim, is concentration. The wind may be faster than you, but you always know which way it’s blowing... —.
Mind over matter.
His racing career begins as a pupil at Queen Margaret College Racing Club. A solitary soul, Jim is fascinated by the somewhat romantic idea of being alone against the world, enveloped in the roar of the engine. Jim is not a natural talent, but he is the definition of persistence: race after race and lap after lap he trains with martial discipline.
He prepares obsessively, analysing himself and his opponents, developing strategies, calculating probabilities and trajectories...
He soon becomes campus champion, then champion of the entire Principality of Albion; thanks to him, the flag of Queen Margaret College flies the highest above every podium.
Two sides of the same coin.
Soon enough, Jim is invited to enter O-Academy, the school for young drivers founded and led by Formula New champion Ben O. The early days at the Academy are rough, but Jim never gives in: challenges make him feel alive, and the ultimate challenge is the one against himself; soon, Jim is considered the Academy's top prospect. Then comes Lucas Hoth.
A hot head, someone who drives with his gut rather than his brain: the perfect nemesis. The years that follow are a whirlwind of races, training sessions and wins. Jim and Lucas take turns on the top step of the podium. The one constant is the duel: neither is clearly superior... Until Ben O's announcement: he is retiring, and will soon name his successor on a live telecast.
Everything changes, nothing changes.
Jim knows he is that someone. For the next Formula New championship, he’ll be sitting in Ben's car. He’s sure of it.
But first, there is one last race to win, so he can pry the title away from Lucas. The two battle down to the last turn, then Jim sees an opening, passes his rival and crosses the finish line. The championship is his.
Events follow in rapid succession. Ben O announces his decision: Jim will be his successor on the Stargazer team. As expected.
Lucas freaks out and goes into hiding. Ben dies. But it's all noise in the background. Jim has no time to think about other things, he must train; harder than he’s ever trained before. The greatest challenge awaits.