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PREMA to join IndyCar from 2025

Written by Dan Jones

Successful feeder series team Prema will add the NTT IndyCar Series to their resume from 2025 as they field two Chevrolet-powered entries. They make the switch to the premier open-wheel racing series in the United States in their first racing venture across the pond.

Prema have been noted for their success in the primary Formula One feeder series, currently fielding entries in Formula 2, Formula 3, the Formula Regional European Championship, F1 Academy, the Formula Regional Middle Eastern Championship and the F4 levels in the UAE, South East Asia, Italy and Europe.

The team also made their first ventures into endurance racing in 2022, as they fielded an LMP2 entry in the World Endurance Championship, fielding the likes of Daniil Kvyat and Robert Kubica.

"Today's announcement marks a pivotal moment in the history of Prema Racing," Team Principal Rene Rosin said. "Making the step to IndyCar, and competing in the world-famous Indianapolis 500, is a dream coming true for our family and everyone involved in our business.

"We have tremendous respect for IndyCar, its unique challenges and sensational history, and we look forward to being part of it. While competing in INDYCAR will not be easy, we are determined to put in our best effort, learn as quickly as possible and become leading contenders right from the start."

An IndyCar entry for the team has been rumoured for several months, with their entry being confirmed today as part of a two-car programme, starting from 2025. The team will run Chevrolet powertrains, bringing the American-based company's total to 14 full-time engine leases. Prema have not announced any drivers, sponsors or partners thus far.

Several drivers in the 2024 field have competed for the Italian outfit in their time in Europe. Arrow McLaren stand-in and former Juncos Hollinger Racing driver Callum Ilott competed for the team in the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship where he took six wins on his way to fourth in the standings.

Marcus Armstrong also raced for the team over three years, claiming the title in the Italian F4 Championship in 2017, as well as a runner-up spot in the ADAC F4 Championship. Armstrong would come 5th in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, including a win at the Norisring, before finishing runner-up in the FIA Formula 3 Championship the following season.

Meyer Shank Racing's Felix Rosenqvist has found the most success with the outfit, winning the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in 2015, as well as the prestigious Macau Grand Prix, before finishing runner-up at the race the following year.

Prema were founded in 1983 by Angelo Rosin and Giorgio Piccollo and have found success on every step of the ladder, winning the FIA Formula 2 Drivers' Championship with Charles Leclerc, Mick Schumacher and Oscar Piastri in 2017, 2020 and 2021 respectively. They also won the FIA Formula 3 championship from 2019 to 2021 with Robert Shwartzman, Oscar Piastri and Dennis Hauger, winning the Teams' Championship in every year of the series, barring 2021.

Carlins time in IndyCar wasn't as strong as hoped. Credit: Chris Jones

The team follow Carlin Motorsport - now renamed as Rodin Motorsport - as a European entry to jump over the pond. Carlin raced full-time from 2018 to 2021, before their assets were taken over by Juncos at the end of the season. Highlights for the team included a surprise pole for Conor Daly at Iowa in 2020, with a best finish of fifth for Charlie Kimball at Toronto in 2018. The team fielded the likes of Pato O'Ward and Conor Daly across its four years in the series but never found great success.

Prema's entry into the series will be an exciting move for several parties. Firstly, it could continue the trend of F2 racers making forays into the series, following the likes of Callum Ilott, Christian Lundgaard, Marcus Armstrong and Jüri Vips.

Could this mean drivers likes Frederik Vesti, who were not quite at the level to gain a Formula One drive, are strong enough for a chance in IndyCar? The team will be expected to line up with a veteran driver to help mentor a second driver from the European ladder.

Prema's entry will bring Chevrolet's numbers up to 14. Credit: Chris Owens

It will bring the total amount of entries up to 29 full-time, assuming no team downsizes before Prema's arrival into the series. It would start to be a stretch on the series' resources though, with pitlane space limited at some venues and neither Honda or Chevrolet having much wiggle-room for future engine leases, which could become particularly problematic at the Indianapolis 500.

This is further complicated by potential reported entries for Pratt & Miller and Abel Motorsports. Arrow McLaren and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing have also expressed suggestions they might expand in future years.

A move that is hugely significant for the team and the sport, Prema's foray into IndyCar will bring one of Europe's most successful outfits into the forefront of American motorsport. With the experience within the team, expect Prema to be straight into the midfield pack when the time arrives for their IndyCar debut.


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