Felipe Drugovich takes us on a trip around his hometown of Maringá in Brazil. We look at the places to visit, sites to see, and of course, the motor racing scene.
WHERE IS YOUR HOMETOWN?
“My hometown is Maringá in Brazil, which is a very nice city. I grew up and lived there until 2014, when I moved to Europe. Of course, I always go back there to see my family and friends.
“It is a very nice city with around 400,000 habitants, so not too big when compared to São Paulo and the cities where Brazilian drivers usually come from. I really like the place and I have many friends there.”
WHY AND WERE SHOULD PEOPLE VISIT?
“It is a very green city, with trees everywhere you look. There is not a single bit of the city where you can look and not see a tree. It is obviously a very hot place, although it can get quite cold during the winter - well, cold for Brazil!
“Thankfully, it is not too humid because of the trees, so it is a nice place to be. It is a very lively city during the night, which is something that I miss in Europe at times.
“It is a multicultural city, but most people speak Portuguese fluently because they have lived there for so long. We have quite a large Japanese community, for example.
“We have the tallest church in South America, which is actually only around 100m from where I live. It is very nice: it looks very unusual and different and tourists love to see it.
“Maringá is really safe. It is not completely safe of course, nowhere is, but you can walk around safely and easily, and it is a beautiful city. There is green everywhere you look, and you have got flowers all over the place, which is a culture that has been brought over by the Japanese. The only downside is that there is not a beach there! But there are some rivers nearby, it is a very reserved area with a lot of space.”
WHERE SHOULD PEOPLE EAT AND DRINK?
“There are three or four Japanese restaurants in my block alone. We also have quite a few German places where you can eat and a lot of places to get German beer too. There is one particular restaurant down the road from my house, which serves Italian style food. Me and my family go there quite often.”
WHERE CAN WE GO KARTING?
“We do not have a massive motorsport culture to be honest. There is only a really, really small go-kart track, which wasn’t actually there when I started. I was travelling to São Paulo every weekend to race there when I started karting, and that is around 600km away, so not a short drive.
“I actually think that it is nice to come from the city and do something a little different though, whereas people who are from São Paulo and cities like that are more used to having drivers.”