GP3 Series star Jack Aitken will head the Renault Sport Academy in 2017, and will be supported by a trio of drivers who will race in the Eurocup Formula Renault championship.
The British driver is one of only two retained from those inducted in the first year of the programme, with Louis Delétraz, Oliver Rowland and Kevin Jörg all omitted in 2017, and he is set to move to championship winning outfit ART Grand Prix.
The only other driver retained is Sun Yue Yang, who will make his single seater debut this season with JD Motorsport in Formula Renault 2.0, which is set to be a two-year programme in the series for the Chinese racer.
2016 British Formula 4 Champion Max Fewtrell has also been added to the Academy line-up, with his Eurocup campaign having long been confirmed with Tech 1 Racing, while the fourth driver is Dutch teenager Jarno Opmeer, who will race for series returnee’s MP Motorsport.
“I’m extremely happy that Renault chose me to be part of their Academy line-up,” said Opmeer. “They will help me in every respect and have enabled me to compete in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup this season. It feels good that I will be teaming up with MP Motorsport again, the team with which I took my first steps in motor racing and that has supported me since my karting days.
“It’s a huge step up – the car is around six to seven seconds quicker than a Formula 4 car. However, I’m well prepared for the season, having already taken in 10 days of testing at Silverstone, Monza, Spa, Barcelona and Albacete – all those tracks, bar Albacete, are on the Eurocup calendar. I can’t wait for the season to start.”
Whereas his name has been omitted so far, Rowland is expected to retain some kind of backing from Renault, but for Delétraz and Jörg, it looks as though they have lost out, although for the former, he still remains a part of the BMW junior programme.