Renault has announced that karting stars Marta Garcia and Christian Lundgaard have both joined its young driver academy ahead of the 2017 season.

Renault has helped to nurture the careers of a number of drivers over the past decade including grand prix winners Robert Kubica, Heikki Kovalainen and Pastor Maldonado, as well as Lucas di Grassi and Romain Grosjean.

Garcia, 16, finished fourth in last year's European CIK-FIA OK karting championship, and won the CIK-FIA Academy Trophy the previous year. She will race in Spanish Formula 4 this year.

Lundgaard, 15, ended up third in last year's WSK Champions Cup and won the CIK-FIA KFJ European Championship in 2015. He will be racing in the SMP F4 NEZ Championship in 2017.

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The pair join the likes of Jack Aitken, Max Fewtrell, Jarno Opmeer and Sun Yue Yang on Renault's junior books.

"It's a great opportunity and honour to join the Renault Sport Academy. I'm looking forward to working with the team throughout the season," Garcia said.

"Being in such a professional environment will undoubtedly be key to my development and progress going forward and I know the coaching and assistance will help me prepare for my season ahead in Spanish Formula 4."

"First, I'd like to thank Renault and the Renault Sport Academy for this opportunity. It feels great already to be part of the programme," Lundgaard added.

"This year is key for me as it will be my first season in single-seaters after karting. The Renault Sport Academy will help me prepare physically and mentally for this new challenge ahead and it feels fantastic to have such support from the team involved."

"We are happy to welcome Marta and Christian to the Renault Sport Academy for 2017," said Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul.

"In combination with Jack, Max, Jarno and Sun we have a very exciting line-up of young drivers, highlighting that our focus is very much on the future. Marta and Christian are amongst the most exciting talents emerging from the karting scene.

"Like their fellow Academy members, their selection and their retention is based on their outstanding results and potential. Renault Sport Racing is committed to growing its own talent and we will monitor the progress of Marta and Christian with great anticipation."

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