Two UNOH Grads Land in Rolex 24 Victory Lane

Posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2021


UNOH Graduates Mark Hudson (L) and Mike DeSenze (@) at the 2021 Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway

Written by Communications Specialist Georgia Krebs

The roar of the engines at Daytona International Speedway is a sound that brings many memories to mind. For UNOH graduates, Mark Hudson and Mike DeSenze, a new memory was added to that sound this season, a trip to victory lane during the Rolex 24!

There is no event like the Rolex 24 at Daytona, with an all-star driving lineup and 24 hours of non-stop sports car endurance racing. The sights and sounds of the Rolex 24 are unforgettable. The team Mark and Mike are on, Winward Racing, made an amazing first impression by claiming the WeatherTech Championship fielding the No. 57 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the GT Daytona (GTD) class of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Mark Hudson graduated from UNOH in 2010 and has been working for Winward Racing for the past 3 years as a mechanic. For IMSA, he is the Car Chief on the GT4 and the front tire changer during the race, and for SRO he is the 3rd mechanic and during pit stops he is in charge of the lance and tire gunner.

Mike DeSenze graduated from UNOH in 2009 and while he was working with another team in 2019, his career path crossed Winward Racing’s at the track. With Mark on the team and both of them being UNOH graduates, Mark approached Mike at the end of the season seeing if he would be interested in joining Winward’s team. Mike took this opportunity to level up his career in racing as a mechanic and pit crew member for Winward.

These two graduates prove the connections UNOH gives students follows them to the tracks and into their careers. “UNOH is recognizable. It’s all over Daytona. Most of the teams have employed graduates from there. UNOH provided an opportunity for me that didn’t exist before,” Mike explained.

UNOH provided the training for a career in the industry, but Winward Racing excelled in their debut at the Rolex 24 this season. “My favorite part was seeing all the hard work the team did from all areas pay off,” Mike described after winning. “There was just so much that went into the 24 that nobody sees and seeing the car cross that line was a complete release of stress and nothing but peace and excitement takes over.”

With less than an hour of hour of sleep within the 24 hours of the event and the high of excitement after the win in pit lane, the pair was still able to experience the joys of winning despite being able to join the drivers in victory lane.

The Rolex 24 is the only planned appearance in the WeatherTech Championship in 2021 for the Winward team, as they focus on their entry in the Pilot Challenge. Mark Hudson and Mike DeSenze have more than a decade of experience, and their careers and highs are still in the fast lane. 

Category: Applied Technologies

Keywords: Rolex 24, Mark Hudson, Mike DeSenze

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Last updated: 02/10/2021