PREMA Racing, the Italian race team that will join the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2025, has won 80 junior single-seat driver and team championships over the past 40 years, an impressive feat by any calculation.

“That’s phenomenal,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said Wednesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the team was introduced. “I can even do that math. Pretty good math, right?”

PREMA Racing’s next-season participation with two Chevrolet-powered entries should expand the NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ car count to 29, and that might not be the end of the expansion. Frye said there are “two or three entries” considering joining in the near future.

PREMA Racing’s decision also follows a recent trend. Since 2018, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES has welcomed Meyer Shank Racing and Juncos Hollinger Racing while watching McLaren, which competes in Formula One, invest in and acquire an existing team.

“It’s amazing,” Frye said. “You think about the rolling five-year plan we implemented in 2017. One of the goals was to recruit new and elite race teams and owners. Obviously, (attracting PREMA with) 80 championships in 40 years, that’s pretty elite.

“There’s a lot of interest in INDYCAR.”

Founded in 1983 by Angelo Rosin and Giorgio Piccolo, PREMA Racing has become the leading contender in European junior single-seater racing. It is widely recognized as the third force in Italian motorsports behind a pair of F1 teams – Ferrari and Alpha Tauri – in terms of size, achievements and competition profile.

PREMA Racing Team Principal Rene Rosin said coming to the U.S. to join the NTT INDYCAR SERIES is the natural next step for the organization.

“It’s a new challenge for us,” he said. “We’re always looking to find new adventures, new possibility to expand not only for our drivers but as well for mechanics, engineers.”

The program is being led by Piers Phillips, a veteran of several NTT INDYCAR SERIES seasons, including stints with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Phillips said the crew will be a mix of series veterans and PREMA Racing staffers.

Phillips said it will be important for the new INDYCAR SERIES team to work somewhat like the existing ones.

“The main thing, in my experience, is understanding the culture of American racing because it’s different to Europe,” he said. “Having worked on both sides of the Atlantic, having had success on both sides, you understand the strengths (of both).

“But the racing is different. I think it’s important that you come in and respect the championship and respect the series for what it is, particularly (IMS). You need to understand the cultural differences (and) blend the best of both worlds and end up better than everybody else.”

Still to be resolved is the driver lineup, and Rosin and Phillips were asked about the importance of having at least one series veteran. They said they needed to see how the driver market shakes out in the coming weeks, but Phillips added he wouldn’t be opposed to having a pair of series rookies. After all, he brought a DTM veteran here in 2018, and Robert Wickens won the pole for the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

“We are looking to get a competitive lineup within our self-experience,” Rosin said. “Rookies (are) something we’re evaluating. Possibly (drivers in) our pipeline, possibly not. Everything is open at the moment.”

Felix Rosenqvist, Marcus Armstrong and Callum Ilott are among the drivers who have arrived in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES after driving for PREMA Racing. Jacques Villeneuve and Ryan Briscoe are others. There are at least seven current F1 drivers, including Charles Leclerc, Oscar Piastri and Valtteri Bottas, who have worn the team’s colors.

“We are still in very good contact with all these drivers that you mentioned,” Rosin said. “We just celebrated our 40th anniversary in December. Most of them (joined) us in Venice for our event. We (are) very close to them and have a very friendly relationship with all of them. We always talk.

“They always say: ‘Why not coming to America? Why not do INDYCAR? It would be something very good for you, very good for the team.’ That is something we are looking forward to in 2025 now.”

Said Phillips: “The challenge is something we all live for. Everybody that is a racer gets out of the bed to go and win, (and) the challenges associated with that. For me, starting from what is effectively a blank page … is amazing.”

Phillips said an announcement of where the team will be based in Indiana “is imminent.”

Also, he said the interest from prospective crew members and partners has been heavy since Tuesday’s announcement of the team’s plans.

“Even since the release yesterday, I’m surprised my phone didn’t end up in a little ball of melted plastic,” he said.