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Prema is entering IndyCar in 2025. Here’s what that means for the series.

3 Mins read
Credit: indycar.com

Prema Racing, the Italy-based single-seater powerhouse, announced that it would be teaming with Chevrolet for two full-time IndyCar Series entries earlier this month. The move puts the potential car count for 2025 at 29, the largest amount of full-time entries in the modern era of American open-wheel racing. Prema is known for its entries into various European junior single-seater series, most notably FIA’s Formula 2 and Formula 3 feeder series. In 2022, the organization expanded into sports car territory with two entries into the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Now, the Italian outfit has expanded into North America for the first time in its four-decade history.

“It is a new challenge for us.” said team owner Rene Rosin. “We always looking to find new adventures, new possibilities to expand not only for our drivers but for mechanics, engineers. Given the opportunity to grow up within our structure and our business is something that we always look forward to.”

Rosin and the rest of the Prema team aren’t the only ones excited about the move. IndyCar president Jay Frye says the series can’t wait for a new, high-level team to join the field.

One of the goals was to recruit new and elite race teams and owners, that type of thing. Obviously, 80 championships in 40 years, that’s pretty elite. We’re certainly thrilled to have them.“We’ve been talking with them for the last six, eight months. We worked on the plan, let them see what it looks like going forward. We’re really excited to have them.”

With Prema now officially a part of IndyCar, there are a few reasons why this is big for the series:

Historic Car Counts

What stands out the most is the potential for a record-setting number of full-time IndyCar entries in 2025 with the addition of two Prema cars. The series already has 27 full-timers in 2024, all the way up from just 23 in 2020. The 29 entries that IndyCar could potentially see next season is the highest in series history, according to @Hickey93 on X.

Why does this matter? Well for one, money. To put it simply, more teams and more cars equals more cash. While it may not mean a huge influx of revenue for the series and its partners, a new, already-established organization has the opportunity to bring new sponsors to the paddock. That is all without mentioning that many of these new sponsors could come from Europe, a largely untapped market as far as IndyCar sponsors are concerned.

Credit: Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment

But in some cases, too many entries may be a bad thing. Concerns have been raised about tracks like Toronto and Mid-Ohio, both of which have limited pit lane space as it is. Frye addressed that issue last week, essentially leaving it to “we’ll figure it out”.

We’ve talked about it before. There’s problems now with some of the places we go to, right? It’s something we’ve got to evaluate… going forward. Certainly a problem, but a really good problem to have, and something we’ll sort out.

It should be noted that if the IndyCar charter system is approved, most races would be capped at 27 entries.

International Influence

When it joins the grid next season, Prema will be one of two non-American teams in the field, joining Argentina-based Juncos Hollinger Racing in that category. Simply put, having entries from multiple nations other than the United States is huge for Penske Entertainment.

While IndyCar doesn’t have nearly the international influence as a series like Formula 1, it always helps to have that reach into different continents. With the recent controversy over F1’s usage of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, I am sure Roger Penske and Co. will take any chance to take a bite out of a European market dominated by their overseas counterparts.

Additionally, the number of international teams is starting to catch up to the number of international drivers. With the 2024 grid consisting of drivers originating from over a dozen different countries, IndyCar has established itself as one of, if not the world’s most diverse racing series. While the low number of international teams still does not represent how diverse the series really is, adding one more to the tally is a great start.

Chances of Success

While no one will know until its two cars hit the track in 2025, Prema seems to have a good shot at quick success in the IndyCar Series. One reason for that is an established pedigree in numerous junior single-seater series in Europe. The team has won three of the past seven Formula 2 championships, and three of the past five in F3.

Additionally, Prema alumni form a pretty strong pedigree. Eight of the 20 current F1 drivers are Prema graduates. as well as current IndyCar drivers Marcus Armstrong, Felix Rosenqvist, and Callum Ilott. Given Ilott’s lack of a full-time seat this year, it looks like the former Juncos driver will be a prime target for Prema in ’25.

Credit: premaracing.com

A brand new team is exciting for not just the series, but the fans as well. It allows IndyCar to expand its footprint even more than just the United States. The prospect of nearly 30 full-time entries is simply unheard of in American open-wheel racing history.

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About author
Born and raised in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Gabe joined the TCF team in 2023 to cover the IndyCar Series. He currently studies Broadcast and Digital Journalism at Syracuse University. You can follow him on Twitter @gabe_perrin.
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