|Born||Arsenio Hidalgo Laurel
December 14, 1931
Tanauan City, Batangas
|Died||November 19, 1967
|Occupation||race car driver|
|Known for||son of former President Jose P. Laurel|
Arsenio "Dodjie" Laurel (December 14, 1931-November 19, 1967) was a champion race car driver from the Philippines. He was the first two-time winner of the Macau Grand Prix, winning it consecutively in 1962 and 1963.
Born on December 14, 1931, Arsenio Laurel was a scion of a prominent political family in the Philippines. A lawyer by profession, he was the youngest of nine children. His father was José P. Laurel, the President of the Philippines during the Japanese occupation, while his brothers would eventually serve the country as Vice President (Salvador "Doy" Laurel), House Speaker (José B. Laurel, Jr.), senator (Sotero Laurel II), ambassador (José S. Laurel III), and congressmen.
Laurel was a pioneer in the development of Philippine motorsport. He was among the first champion racers in the early years of organized auto racing in the Philippines, driving his 1954 Studebaker on the oval of the Santa Ana Hippodrome in Manila (when the horses were not running). He also excelled in karting and drag racing, and was a licensed helicopter pilot. In the mid-1960s, he was also known to TV viewers as the first host of Motoring News, which became the longest-running Filipino TV program about the motoring industry.
His success in the Asian racing scene in the 60s earned him an invitation to race with a European team which he politely declined.
He died during the Macau Grand Prix on November 19, 1967, at the age of 35. Eyewitness accounts revealed that Laurel, after his Lotus 41 skidded out of control, tried to avoid hitting some spectators by driving the car into the sea wall. The crash caused his car to burst into flames, leaving him trapped inside. He was the first fatality of the Macau Grand Prix.
|Macau Grand Prix
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