You have the power to change the world, but it will be useless if you won’t be able to change yourself, first... —.
Argentina is a state of mind.
The world after the Transformation is profoundly changed and borders and countries are nothing but memories. Nevertheless, Nueva Buenos Aires’ citizens still think of themselves first and foremost as Argentinians. The old sporting rivalries between opposing soccer teams Boca and River has been replaced by a growing passion for Formula New. This is the environment in which Miri grows up… a world where everyone dreams to become a driver.
She comes from the outskirts of the city, where bricks and cement coexist with the forest. It’s a difficult place, where work is scarce; a place everybody wants to leave behind in their race towards the skyscrapers of Nueva Buenos Aires.
Everybody but Miri and her older brother Alvaro; they dream of a different kind of race, faster and with a singular goal: the chequered flag that signals the finish line.
The two sides of talent
Alvaro has some talent, and manages to enter some minor Karting competitions. Miri is talented as well, maybe even more than her brother, but her father can’t afford to go beyond an old, dented Kart found among the ever-present debris of the old world. Race entry fees are steep, and it’s enough of a struggle to come up with the sum for one driver. Miri is younger, smaller and, most of all… she’s a girl.
Who’s ever heard of a girl racer, anyway? But Miri is stubborn by nature… and she dreams of speed: after all, there is no explicit rule denying women the chance to drive a race car... although, except for a few sporadic cases in the minor leagues, there’s never been a prominent female driver, much less in Formula New. Most of all, she’d like to race for her mother, whose life has gone by way too fast.
At the starting line
Miri and Alvaro’s mother died when they were very young, leaving a gaping void that the siblings have tried to fill with racing. The real problem is that Miri is faster than Alvaro, but he’s very good at making her think otherwise. Every time he loses to his sister, he claims that he let her win. Up until the race that changes everything. A race, won thanks to her talent, that ends up costing her much: Alvaro essentially stops talking to her.
After that day, Miri makes her way on her own, leaving her brother behind. Race after race, she is noticed by the owner of a small Formula New team. A resolute, self-made man that has built an empire from nothing and is now investing in the most popular sport.
To him, Miri is perfect: a girl hungry for victory, who will do anything to cross the finish line first.
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.