Winning poster designer will see her first Grand Prix

Henry Payne
The Detroit News

Every great auto race is remembered for its winner — and its poster.

We won’t know the victors of IndyCar’s doubleheader at the 2017 Detroit Grand Prix until the weekend of June 4, but we do know what the poster will look like that will adorn fans’ walls for years to come.

Kaylin Mahoney, a junior at the College for Creative Studies, won the fifth annual Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Official Poster Competition with a gorgeous watercolor featuring two open-wheel IndyCars splashing through the rain on Belle Isle with the Detroit skyline as a backdrop. Given that IndyCar —unlike NASCAR — races rain or shine, the poster is appropriate for a brutal street race that has often tested drivers’ nerves in the wet.

Mahoney took the podium from a field of five finalists culled from 19 CCS student entries. Lexi Pape and Dan Rees place second and third respectively with strong compositions.

“This is the most diverse field of entries we’ve had yet for this competition,” said Bud Denker, Grand Prix chairman and one of seven judges to award the prize at CCS Thursday. “This contest is a special part of the Detroit Grand Prix.”

Mahoney won $1,000 for her entry, which she will further tweak with Grand Prix design staff to be presented in official form on April 26. The poster image will be on sale at the race events.

“This process was a lot of fun,” said Mahoney, who specializes in CCS’s Illustration program. “It was great to see everyone’s design come to life.”

She is a veteran of the Woodward Dream Cruise — but has never been to the Detroit Grand Prix. She will attend this year —as will the other four finalists. Their work will also be on display at the Grand Prix’s June 2 charity gala.

Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News.