CLUB HANDZ x LSD 2020 Coverage… Part 1…

We’ve read and heard so many negatives about the year that has been 2020 worldwide. There has been a pandemic, so much loss, a contentious feeling throughout our country, and there doesn’t seem to be light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Everyone is having a rough year, and I can’t think of another time in my entire life where that has been so true. How is that even possible, right? It’s crazy to think that it has been such a rough time but what’s even crazier is believing that everything will change the moment we flip that calendar over to January 1st. There remains to be so many unknowns heading into 2021 and it is just a little over 30 days from now. To think that everything will change in 2021 is, frankly, unrealistic. Time, and more importantly life, just doesn’t work that way. I feel like the best way we can approach the future is to put a positive twist on it—and that’s coming from someone who hasn’t necessarily been the most positive of people. I’ll admit, I’ve gotten better with age. I’ve always been fairly ‘aware’ of who I was as a person. Most of my 20s were spent kind of in a fog, taking life as it came but always approaching it with a bit of cynicism. As I’ve grown-up, both physically and mentally, I have found myself to become a much more positive human being. I’m still incredibly sarcastic and very much a cynic, but I think I’ve figured life out. I’ve had enough experiences that have paved my way to a much more positive approach towards life and all of its many hurdles…

Despite EVERYTHING that has come with 2020, my one takeaway from it is very much a positive. At first I hated the idea of completely being grounded and unable to travel. The pandemic has caused a major disruption towards my plans for this year. Right after coming back from my last Japan trip in February, I was on such an incredible high. I felt like I was producing my best work yet and was seeing so much cool shit. Creatively, I felt inspired. I wanted to see and do more. For the first time in a long time, I finally didn’t feel burnt-out. I wanted to write again. I wanted to shoot again. And then it all came to a screeching halt—for everyone. For myself, it was time to pivot and figure out a way to generate content and be at home without losing traction. So much of my work is based on traveling all over. With all that traveling, I often felt very ‘aloof’, if you will. Nothing at home, other than my friends, family, and significant other, really was much of a concern to me. I dealt with what was in front of me and then I was back on the road. Being at home was more of a ‘layover’ than anything. There were times when I would literally come back home from a trip to Japan for less than a week, do my laundry, and then fly back to Japan. Home was a place for rest and not much more. It was a means to just pay the bills while I was here, spend time with my girlfriend, eat a nice meal, and then go. I could bet you pretty much anything that most of the time, my friends and even my parents had no idea where I was. To them, I was just somewhere in the world…

I took a lot of pride in being able to manage that life. It was everything I had ever worked for. I could see and do things that most could only dream of. People respected me because I was able to have that type of life…

But I never felt like I was home.

2020 has helped me regain that balance. It happened quite forcefully. But the pandemic has created the space and opportunity for me to build the foundation of what ‘home’ should be. I didn’t know I needed it. No longer did my parents or the people in my circle need to message me to see where I was. For once, they knew exactly where I was and they could come to me if they needed to tell me about their life. And I could do the same if I needed them. ‘Home’ is very much the people you keep around you and 2020 brought me home. I’ve always believed myself to be a good person and a good friend. I care about people, maybe often times to a fault, but I care deeply. Recreating that foundation and concept of home also made me a bit sad because as good as a friend as I have been, me being away so much the last few years has harbored neglect towards the people I cared most about. If you’re worried about them, you need not fret because my friends are doing fine. I just feel like their quality of life could be better if I were more actively involved…

Even though we were technically forced to be away from one another, social distancing and all, I’ve never felt closer to my friends than I do now simply because I am ever more present in 2020. That should tell you just how far away I’ve been physically, and more importantly, mentally. I’ve spent so much time with the people that are important to me that they are probably getting sick of me, lol. My girlfriend used to have to figure out my schedule to see when I would be home to spend time with her and now she’s just trying to figure out when we can actually travel somewhere together because we’re just tired of being stuck at home…

One of the people whom I consider to be a close friend that I feel I never have enough time to speak to is my boy Kemritte (Kam to his friends). He’s actually one of the people that I got to hang out with recently that pointed-out that I’ve become a much more positive person over the last few years. I guess I hadn’t really noticed until he brought it up because it’s difficult to notice change in one’s self when you are with yourself every single day. Kam is one of those friends that I honestly don’t have to see all the time because every time we do hang-out, it feels like I just saw him and we can pick up where we last left-off. I have a lot of respect for him and how he carries himself. He’s one of those people that also cares very much about his friends, so I value his opinion highly. When he showed-up at Philstar’s birthday bash drifting event a couple months ago, he mentioned that he’d love it if I came out to his event…

Kemritte runs a grassroots drifting event called “Club Handz” and it encompasses everything he and his friends care about when it comes to drifting. There are many different drifting events out here in California, but his events are all about people, the friendly overall vibe they create, and of course, fun driving. It is never competitive though technically it is a competition, if that makes sense. They’re just all about having a good time. Club Handz started a little over a year ago and Kam and his crew have run multiple events that I’ve always wanted to attend. Drifting isn’t particularly what I’m known for but I do enjoy it. Club Handz is just one of those things I’ve wanted to attend more so to support Kam and his endeavors. Our schedules just never lined-up in the past because I just haven’t been around. When I have been, his event either conflicts with another event I have obligations to attend or it would be too close to my own anniversary events and I’m just too busy planning. Admittedly, I have felt pretty bad not being able to experience Club Handz because Kam has always been so supportive of The Chronicles…

Being home in 2020 has finally presented me with an opportunity to see Club Handz for myself. Originally I had planned to attend the Super Lap Battle event in Buttonwillow, as I do every year, but this year it just so happened to work out that both events were on the same weekend. I thought it was going to be a conflict of schedules once again since I was planning on going to Super Lap Battle but then I realized the second day of the weekend-long event fell on a Sunday. Club Handz, which was just a normal single-day event, was scheduled for Saturday. I talked to Becky (my amazing significant other for those unaware) and she was totally okay with me spending the entire weekend of her birthday week doing car stuff. She’s incredibly supportive and understands that 2020 has come with events few and far between. And she also knows how important my friends are to me and wanted me to be there to support them in whatever they did. The difficulty that came with attending both events over the weekend was managing the lack of sleep that came with it since both were in very different parts of California. I should add that neither were remotely close to being near home. Apple Valley where Club Handz was taking place was easily over an hour and a half away. Super Lap Battle in Buttonwillow was an hour more than that in a different direction. Thankfully, Ryan Der has been itching to go out and shoot photos so I convinced him to drive to Buttonwillow while I would make the drive to Apple Valley. Everything sort of fell into place after that. Phil was also planning on doing some driving at Club Handz so my SUV would also serve as track support, hauling some tools and extra wheels for Phil to burn through. I purposely didn’t tell Kam that I was going because I wanted to surprise him. I knew he’d wanted me to go to his event for the longest time so it would be a nice surprise to finally see me there…

When I finally pulled into Apple Valley Speedway, Kam said he lit up when he saw my car driving through that bumpy off-road section that led into the track. It felt good to hear that and get that sense of appreciation. For me, I felt like I finally checked-off something very important on my list of things-to-do with (and for) friends. Kam had already given me a pretty good idea of the vibe of his events and how easy-going they are. He certainly did not disappoint. Club Handz is everything he said it would be but experiencing it firsthand helped me develop a deeper appreciation for what was important to him and the community he has created within his event. It’s very much a driver’s event where guys can pretty much do whatever they want, within reason of course, and Kam has developed a culture within Club Handz where people can manage themselves. He literally just gets to hang out with his friends, have a few drinks, and go out on the track for some fun. Everyone helps one another out and people volunteer for the important stuff that comes with hosting a big event. It’s actually a lot of fun and the only thing you really have to worry about is the track itself. Apple Valley Speedway has long needed some attention and renovation. I’ve been to many race tracks all over the world and AVS is probably the only one I’ve ever seen with potholes and serious imperfections in the pavement. I think its set for a major overhaul soon but I’m not too sure what is actually being changed or repaired…

This is probably a lot more reading than you expected to do so let me get to the photos. I didn’t know that many people that were driving at the event so I captured whatever caught my eye, as usual. Honestly, it was nice to shoot at AVS during the day time for once being that my two previous visits were in the pitch black at night. The sunset is quite nice there and the track is small enough where you can get some pretty good photos without actually even being on the track itself…

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We arrived at Apple Valley Speedway just as the driver’s meeting was getting started so people gathered by the Club Handz x LSD booth…

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I don’t know if I posted the recent updates on Phil’s S2000 since last month but Yuta did quite a bit of work to the engine bay of the AP2. As you can see, he made a custom intake for it and mounted a custom catch can to the Spoon Sports strut bar which he drilled through to mount the can. Definitely not conventional but when is Yuta ever conventional? He also added little details like shaving the “VTEC” section of the wire cover off. What you can’t see is the custom header and exhaust which makes this S2000 sound really unique—obnoxious, but unique, lol…

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16-inch Rays Gram Lights 57C wheels with custom Brembo brakes from an Acura TL behind the front spokes…

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Philstar rockin’ his Chronicles crewneck which is currently available at NORIVALNOEQUAL.COM

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YouTuber Joshua Behrens aka e_ought’s 240SX running a set of custom Work Equip wheels and a Spirit Rei front…

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SR20DET inside the engine bay of Behrens’ RPS13 with a Garrett turbo upgrade…

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When Phil told me that this TE was Kam’s old car, I was pretty surprised because I thought that he had junked the shell after he switched over to his AE86. As it turns out, the car went to his friend JR who put another engine in it and had the outside resprayed in this metallic silverish green hue originally from a Toyota Prius…

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A 4A-GE swap inside the bay running individual throttle bodies protected by a Pipercross filtering element…

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I didn’t know what to expect when it came to cars at Club Handz but this PS13 built by Jacob Castro immediately caught my eye…

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I loved everything about it from the incredibly 90s-era specific look, to the 14-inch wheels, and of course, the G-Corp aero!…

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Kam’s AE86 has changed a bit since the last time I had a good look at it. I think he had avoided running front fender flares for so long because he had a specific look in mind but finally gave in because he needed the room for more wheel/tire…

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20-Valve 4A-GE which, if memory serves me correctly, is from his original TE Corolla build. If you watched the Vlog episode, this was the engine bay that we put the GoPro inside of…

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It’s nice to see some old TE Corolla wagons out and about at drift events like this JDM-face wagon with a front lip and Advan A3A wheels…

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Captured this nifty shot of Kam’s AE86 before he grabbed his helmet and hopped in…

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Jacob and his S13 coupe in action…

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Simranjot Singh in his PS13 coupe with Regamaster EVO up front and 3-piece SSR SP1 in the rear…

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Couldn’t get enough of the Frantic House Racing S13 so I shot photos of it every time it went out to hover over the potholes of AVS…

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Kam chasing down his old Corolla with his current Corolla…

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At one point Kam lost his front bumper sliding around…

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…but JR, ever the good friend, pulled-over and picked it up for him by shoving it into the passenger side of his TE…

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Kam didn’t even realize his bumper came off until he came back into the pit area and was pleasantly surprised that it was not only in one-piece, but JR had grabbed it for him…

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…and then JR tried to straighten-out his own front end situation while Kam had a smoke…

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It’s not every day you come across a set of Panspeed GT2000 front fenders for an FD…

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The rest of the FD looks to be wearing M Sports aero to pair with the Panspeed wide fenders. It look like it had some issues most of the day though and I never actually saw it get out for any laps…

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Club Handz also made the skid pad area available for some driving so Phil was able to try it out for the first time…

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The area was a bit small but it looked like Phil had a good time out there in his S2000. The R32 wheels he had in the rear actually suit the car out well but then again, OEM R32 wheels look good on pretty much anything…

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Some tandem action with Cam’s ZN6, Singh’s S13, and Colin’s clean FC…

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Digging those SSR Professors in and kickin’ up a little bit of dirt at AVS…

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They say that S2000s were never meant for drifting but Philstar seems to have gotten a pretty good hold of things as he was shredding all day at Club Handz…

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I can always appreciate a nice S-chassis in red. Desmond wheels look right at home up front too…

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I don’t know if it was intentional but these guys had a very patriotic theme going…

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E_Ought going down the long straight into the first entry zone of AVS in his RPS13…

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Colin and Cam in the same zone in their respective builds…

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The Behrens brothers representing UpSlideDown and in4mation…

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Some photos during the group competition portion of Club Handz x LSD…

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Earlier in the day, we had heard that someone had rolled-over after going off track, but the track is a bit small so I really didn’t think anything of it. I just kept filming and shooting photos elsewhere but then we found out it was actually JR in his TE that rolled—and it ROLLED. I wish I had footage of it because it was actually cool seeing everyone else’s video of JR and friends pushing the car back over onto its wheels. The roof was pretty damaged as it turns out, and the Saito roll cage inside actually did its job and protected JR. Glad to see that he was not only okay, but he actually went back out onto the track later to drive with the roof caved-in, lol…

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Every S-chassis lovers favorite combination of Volk TEs up front and Nismo LMGT4 wheels in the rear…

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Vonstar’s S13 coupe on bronze Rays Nismo wheels…

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Ricky’s Toyota 1JZ-GTE powered RPS13 with a full Itasha livery and Lambo doors for extra style points…

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Kam and his curled license plate…

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AE86 battle featuring Kemritte’s Levin-face and Jack Wischmeyer’s red GTS…

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One of the reasons why I wanted to go to Club Handz was to not only support my friend, but also to see him drive after all these years. When I do see Kam’s AE86, it’s typically over here at the shop but I know he’s gotten a lot better over the years as he continues to get more comfortable in his Corolla and it really shows. The guy gets pretty spicy out there…

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Gonna cut it off here for now since there was so much to read and process before even getting to the photos. This shot was actually an outtake since someone was blasting by as I pressed the shutter but it turned out kinda cool. It looks like I ‘threaded the needle’ and shot this on purpose to capture Kam in action, haha…

Thanks for looking everyone, stay tuned for more!!…

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