By this time Ryosuke approaches Takumi with an offer. Ryosuke has been putting together a racing team featuring the best racers of the Gunma prefecture, and would like Takumi to join. Takumi doesn’t want to decide whether or not to accept the proposal until he settles his score with Team Emperor leader Sudou Kyouichi, who had looked down on the AE86 because of the car’s age and had seriously damaged Takumi’s confidence in the AE86 after being defeated by him. Takumi proceeds to Irohazaka pass to challenge Kyouichi. Kyouichi had chosen to let Takumi lead; if Takumi prevents Kyouichi from passing him, he wins, if Kyouichi passes him, he loses. Takumi notes how the match is unfair, but this is quickly dismissed by Kyouichi. In the end, Takumi is able to prevent Kyouichi from passing. Kyouichi, who takes great pride in his knowledge and ability to race on his home course, concedes defeat and also gave praise to the new AE86, although Takumi still believes it was more of a tie and was more concerned about Kyouichi finally acknowledging the abilities of the AE86.
Kogashiwa Kai, the son of Bunta’s old rival, driving a Toyota MR2 (SW20) later challenges Takumi upon knowing he beat his original target, Kyouichi. He and his father planned to beat Takumi by using a line strategy his father had devised and used against Bunta: the In-Air hairpin jump on the 33rd, 36th, 37th, 38th, and 39th hairpins of Irohazaka. Bunta, knowing how Kogashiwa has used the special line factor before, predicted to Takumi that Kai would surely be in front by the later half of the race and proceeds to give Takumi some obscure advice on how to beat Kai. Kyouichi, who had been with Iwaki Seiji , Keisuke, and Takahashi Ryouske, had predicted as well that Kai would use the technique and explains how he himself could not come to use the strategy due to his pride in his skills alone without need for strategy. Kai, upon realizing that he cannot win in a straight-forward clash of skill, uses the line strategy to overtake and further distance himself from Takumi. Takumi then finds it in himself to try this technique and masters it at the first try, finding himself catching up to Kai. At the last moment before they reach the finish Takumi realizes the meaning behind the advice given earlier by Bunta when he notices dead leaves piling up on one side of the road. Takumi proceeds puts his car past the shrubs and into the gutter to sling shot side-by-side forcing Kai to the side of the road where Takumi guesses the leaves would pile up on. Bunta, while talking to Yuuichi, has predicted that Takumi had a 50% chance of passing Kai. As they pass the bridge side-by-side airborne, the 50% chance presents itself as Kai had landed on the side of the road where the leaves had piled up where he lost control and spun out right before the goal.
This stage also saw the appearance of Miki, a former student at the same high school Takumi attended who Takumi once punched over Miki’s bragging about his sexual exploits with Natsuki (seen in a flashback from 1st Stage). It was Christmas season, and Natsuki surprises Takumi at his house, and celebrates Christmas with him and Bunta. On New Year’s Day, Miki takes Natsuki under duress, even attempting to rape her near Lake Akina. But Takumi, after hearing a few words of a call from Natsuki which was cut short, came to the rescue.
As spring comes, Takumi tells Ryosuke that he wants to request another battle with him, this time on Mt. Akagi, before making his decision regarding the team. It is unclear who actually wins the race, but during the race Keisuke reveals to the other members of the Red Suns that the race is not really about who wins or loses. As they approach the finish, side by side, Takumi decides that it is his desire to remain with Ryosuke and join the team.
Courtesy of WikiPedia