Ryuji Ikeda (池田 竜次 Ikeda Ryuji) is the leader of Team Spiral and referred to as Zero. Ikeda's father is a wealthy head priest of a temple and as a result had ample funds to finance his car racing.
|Car||Nissan Fairlady Z (Z33)|
|Plate||69-556, classification 301|
|Custom Parts||Ings N-Spec Full body kit, Ings bonnet, Ings LX front fenders, Ings rear wing, Ings TS06 Forged Racing wheels (anime), Ings LX Sport LM VII wheels (manga and arcade), Auto Produce Boss twin separate mufflers, Mine's carbon mirrors (anime only), Front window sun strip (manga and arcade), Bolt-on turbo kit|
|Japanese Voice Actor||Kazuya Nakai|
Ikeda is an older racer and is very calm and level headed even in the heat of a race. He prepares for races by zoning out. Ikeda believes in a theory he created known as "Zero Theory" in which car and driver come together to become a single entity. To do so, a great deal of tuning has to be done to a car in order to match the characteristics of the driver to attain a higher level of racing.
When asked by Junichi Sakamoto, the number 2 driver of Team Spiral, what he thinks about when zoning out, Ikeda replies with "I don't think about anything. It's how I empty my mind and focus."
Shortly before Team Spiral's race with Project D, Ikeda is challenged to an unofficial race by Shinigami. Ikeda is pushed to his limits and bows out of the race in an attempt to prevent any damage to his car before the race with Project D.
During the race with Project D, he remains in a confident position until he reaches a section of the track where it had been fogged over. This makes Ikeda hesitate, which goes against his zero theory.
After being defeated by Project D, he spectates the race between Ryosuke and Rin Hojo, and helps Takahashi in his attempt to stop Shinigami's GTR, when his brakes and tires got dangerously worn out.
During the Sidewinders and Project D's battle, he and Rin can be seen talking about the last advice the former Shinigami gave to Go, his younger brother.