The fighting spirit of Detroit and the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear was clear in the winning design selected Monday as the Official Poster of the 2021 Grand Prix. Celebrating the ninth year of the poster competition featuring the talented students of the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit, junior Alec Porter channeled the spirit of a Motor City sports hero and an iconic piece of art in the city of Detroit to fuel his winning entry.

Porter incorporated the famous Joe Louis “fist” statue alongside the high-powered race cars that compete at the Grand Prix from the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for a unique art-deco style design (image attached) that was ultimately chosen as the winner among the five finalists. Porter said the inclusion of the work of art that’s become a staple of downtown Detroit not only honors Louis and the spirit of one of Detroit’s greatest sports legends as the heavyweight boxing champion in the 1930s and 40s, it also created a connection to the power of racing and the history of the Grand Prix in the Motor City.

“My design was really all about power. The race cars are powerful and the Joe Louis fist represents power so I thought it made a good connection,” said Porter, a 20-year-old Westland resident and Illustration major at CCS. “I really just wanted my design to represent the city of Detroit. I looked at a number of different ways to make that connection to the city and some were kind of obvious, so I crossed them off the list. The Joe Louis statue just seemed to be a really good fit and I’m glad that the judges felt the same way.”

Porter and four of his fellow students in the Intermediate Composition for Illustration class at CCS presented their designs to a distinguished seven-person judging panel on Monday. Fan voting through the Grand Prix social channels was also factored into the final decision. While Porter’s design was ultimately selected as the winner, the voting was tight with students Ariana Manzanarez finishing a close second and Gabriella Cruciani completing the poster podium in third place. All three students judged to have the top designs will receive small scholarship awards from the Grand Prix. Finalists John Vital and Nancy Gilbertson also received acclaim from the judges for their submissions.

For the second consecutive year, the poster competition final judging was held virtually. In 2020, an official poster was selected among the entries from the students at CCS, the well-respected, Detroit-based art and design college, despite the fact that the Grand Prix was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s poster competition judging panel included Lear Corporation Head of Design Lea Thomas Smith, WDIV-TV Local 4 sports reporter/anchor Jamie Edmonds, Detroit News Editorial Cartoonist and Auto Critic Henry Payne, Detroit Free Press Deputy Sports Editor Ryan Ford, CCS Illustration Department Chair Don Kilpatrick, Grand Prix President Michael Montri and Grand Prix Chairman Bud Denker.

Porter will take some of the feedback from the judges and put the finishing touches on his design in the coming days. Allied Printing Company will then print the 2021 official poster, which will be on sale during the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear race weekend, June 11-13 on Belle Isle. The poster will also be available for purchase online through Grand Prix merchandise partner, Made in Detroit.

The Detroit Grand Prix is a 501(c)3 organization and a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. Scheduled for June 11-13, 2021 at Belle Isle Park, the event will include the Chevy Dual in Detroit featuring the cars of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic with the exotic sports cars of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the rising stars of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. For more information, visit and follow our social media pages at, and