While Lucy runs some practise laps on the track on planet Clifoto, Jody and Stewart fill the others in on the potential dangers during the race: it's a popular track so the prize money will be huge, but the planet is extremely hot, so making sure their engines don't overheat is crucial.
Lucy finishes her practise and brings her own recordings to the table: they'll want to keep their power gauge within the green to avoid burning out, and spend it on speed for the final lap. Jody introduces her to the rest of the team, and due to her mechanical expertise, she'll be serving as Clash's apprentice.
Ryu heads out for a bit of practise while the rest study how his machine behaves: at the moment the temperature's not too bad, but it could rise when the real race begins. Lucy reminds everyone that the coolant doesn't work effectively in high temperatures, so avoid boosting where it's hottest. EAD's attention lies elsewhere: there's an unknown racer following Ryu!
The mysterious pilot is Baba, and he's been sent by Zoda to keep a close eye on Ryu after his near-victory last time. Zoda is in no rush to act just yet, but if Ryu ever becomes a bother, he'll think of something to put him in his place.
Ryu returns to the hangar drained from the heat, only for Jack to swoop in and gloat over what an easy race this is going to be. Ryu's keen to challenge him, especially after Clash's new modifications to the Dragon Bird, but his practise has left him exhausted; he's in no condition to race. Lucy offers to try it in his stead, and record her findings when she's done.
Everyone is surprised by the suggestion, though Ryu is the only one to object. Lucy hops in the Dragon Bird and is out on the track before he can stop her. She's excited to be handling a machine with more power behind it, though Ryu tries to give her some safety precautions over the communicator... but it's no use, the heat must be effecting the transmissions.
While sitting in on the F-Zero Committee meeting, Jody and Stewart catch footage of the Dragon Bird driving wildly on the track - Lucy's having difficulty adapting to how Ryu's machine handles. She approaches Baba's Iron Tiger from behind, who's in no mood to race, and slows down to let her pass...
... but upon seeing who's behind the wheel, can't stand the thought of being beaten by her. He catches up and begins boxing the Dragon Bird in against the wall; Ryu is proper miffed and borrows Jack's Astro Robin to get close to the action.
Lucy tries accelerating to escape, but the machine grows unstable once it rises above green, and has to slow again. Ryu tries to tell her she can't handle the Dragon Bird's power, but the radios are still malfunctioning. Refusing to lose to this racer and eager to prove herself a member of the Galaxy Mobile Platoon, she hits the booster...
... but the Dragon Bird grinds the walls before hurling right off the track, crashing onto the rocks below.
Ryu catches up to her and brings her back to base, and she eventually wakes up mostly unharmed. She explains she was eager to impress the group, and they're just happy she didn't injure herself. The Dragon Bird is pretty banged up, though.
Jody enters and smacks Ryu for his colossal screw-up out on the track; Lucy tries to explain, but is told this doesn't concern her. What's worse, they've learnt that Zoda has signed up for the race, but if Ryu's machine is out of commission, he's missed his chance to get even.
This strikes a nerve in Ryu; he has to confront Zoda. He storms into the exhibition area shouting his name, desperate to find the man who killed him 150 years ago. He's just about to climb onto the track before Jack pulls him down. What use is he to the Platoon if he's splattered over someone's bonnet?
Jody, Jack, Stewart and EAD retire to the mess room for a bite to eat, a trifle upset about the situation with Ryu. They hope he's cooling down from his outburst... but realising he's not at the table getting his meal, they worry that he's up to something foolish.
Team Apprentice Lucy
While Clash is busy fixing up the Dragon Bird, Lucy apologises for pushing it too hard, but the mechanic's not concerned about that: they're going to be up all night repairing this thing, so they've gotta put their backs into it!
Ryu returns from posing dramatically to lend a hand, and the others find him shortly after. Jody looks like she's about to clobber Ryu... but she's there to also offer her support. If they all pitch in, the Dragon Bird will be fixed in no time!
Baba reports in to Zoda's garage, telling him the woman isn't worth worrying about. Zoda reminds him there's plenty of other skilled pilots taking part, and if they're even remotely troublesome, he wants them taken out. He approaches his machine to find a warning light in the cockpit; Baba tells him he's been having trouble getting enough parts to finish building it. Zoda points his gun at him...
... and fires, blasting apart the robot behind him. "Now you've got plenty of parts."
The Platoon finally finish fixing up the Dragon Bird in time for the race, and Lucy is praised for her hard work; they wouldn't have finished it so quickly without her.
The starting grid slowly fills with racers, with all of the Platoon bar Jody, Clash and Lucy taking part. Ryu sees Zoda's machine for the first time: the Death Anchor. There's no way he's going to lose to him.
The race begins, and Zoda is quick to make his mark by crushing another machine against the barriers. Ryu zooms after him, eager to settle his score, but the Death Anchor boosts ahead, leaving them in the dust.
Jack boosts after him, but Ryu feels his engine isn't up to the pursuit, and hangs back for the time being. By the end of the first lap, Jack's engine temperature is at critical; if he pushes it any further, it's in danger of exploding!
Zoda begins playing with his prey, circling the Astro Robin before getting right behind it and boosting: the Death Anchor zooms right through, leaving the Astro Robin as nothing but scrap. Jack parachuted out to safety just in time, but this race is in Ryu's hands now.
Ryu begins to notice something within the Dragon Bird, and realises it must be Lucy's handiwork: Lucy found steering the machine got increasingly difficult at high speeds, but by reducing the thrust just a little, she's given it overall superior steering at all speeds. This is just what Ryu needs if he's going to beat Zoda... and he's right on his tail!
Fearing his machine is overheating, Zoda slows down to let it mellow... giving Ryu a chance to slow down while in front of him, twisting his machine to batter the Death Anchor clean off the track. He follows after him.
With the two leading racers now off the track, Dr. Stewart's Golden Fox and Baba's Iron Tiger are competing for first place. The two put all their power into the boosters for the final stretch, going neck and neck... but it's the Golden Fox that crosses the finish line first. You're never going to beat an A-class booster, pal.
On the rocks below, the Death Anchor is a flaming wreck, but Zoda himself is unscathed and up for a scrap. Ryu lands a few solid blows on him but it doesn't seem to slow him down any. As the smoke on the wreck thickens, Zoda uses it to make his escape, vowing to meet Ryu again at the next race.
After the race, the group return to the police headquarters, where Lucy is fully inaugurated into the Galaxy Mobile Platoon. She's offered the choice to return to her ordinary life... but she wouldn't want anything less. The group salute her as she is granted her new insignia-adorned shoulderplate.
Burt's F-Zero Classroom: Burt gives viewers a quick low-down on the components of an F-Zero machine: the anti-gravity drive helps it float above the ground with the help of G-diffuser technology, and their jet engines can reach speeds of 200 kilometres per second. It's s a pity tickets are so expensive, though!
4Kids broadcast: This episode is titled Burn out on Planet Clifoto. Jody's slap is cut, though Ryu's bruise is still visible in the next shot. The attack on Zoda also snips the two blows that land.
Baba sounds like a dodgy imitation of Paul Lynde.
Given the series' track record I'm sure the 3D course layout is ganked from one of the games, but I can't identify it. Can you?