1977-1978: Formula Ford Edit
Kenneth Acheson was born into a motor racing family to which his father was a regular racer in the local Northern Irish Formula Ford championship. His father had competed against the likes of Gordon Watson, the father of Northern Ireland's first successful Formula One driver, John Watson.
In 1976, Kenneth's father promised to buy him his own Formula Ford car if he promised to quit smoking. Kenneth made good on his promise and in 1977 began his motor racing career.
Whilst he originally planned to be only a hobby racer like his father, Kenneth immediately demonstrated enormous talent and went on to dominate the Northern Irish Formula Ford championship. His highly impressive first season in Formula Ford saw him be lauded as the greatest driver to hail from Northern Ireland since John Watson.
In 1978, he headed to mainland Britain to see if his motor racing talent would be worth anything among the more competitive mainland championships. A young Rory Byrne immediately talent spotted Acheson as a driver with serious potential. Byrne acquired Acheson one of the top line Royale cars for the 1978 season. Acheson partnered with Rory Byrne once again appeared to be a dominant driver. Acheson easily took victory in the 1978 British Formula Ford championship.
1979-1980: Formula Three Edit
Acheson's success saw him acquire a sponsor in the ready-mix concrete company, the RMC Group. RMC therefore sponsored his entry into the 1979 British Formula Three championship. Acheson would compete against the likes of Nigel Mansell, Stefan Johansson, Andrea de Cesaris, Mike Thackwell, Chico Serra, Roberto Guerrero and Eddie Jordan in the championship.
Acheson was driving a two year old Ralt RT1, a car that by no means was the class of the field. Acheson, however quickly adapted to the older car and found he could regularly compete within the top ten of the field despite his older model car. When it appeared Acheson could match the pace of the leading group, RMC acquired him a March 793, one of the most competitive cars in the field.
Acheson proved slow to adjust to the new car, suffering a number of retirements. However at the twelfth round of the championship at Silverstone, Acheson finally acquired his first podium where he finished third behind Chico Serra and Mike Thackwell.
He then took his first victory in a non-championship race at Donnington Park where he notably defended against a charging Thierry Boutsen throughout the race. Thereafter, Acheson established himself as one of the front runners in Formula Three. Whilst he was regularly fighting and matching the pace of the front runners, he failed to manage to take a championship victory throughout his inaugral season.
Although, he did manage to take a total of three non-championship victories throughout the entire season. This notably however lacked the main championship contenders, however he commendably defended a victory at Donnington Park from Nigel Mansell much as he done to Thierry Boutsen earlier in the season.
With drivers like De Cesaris, Thackwell and Serra graduating from the series as well as an injured Nigel Mansell, Acheson was expected to be one of the leading contenders for 1980. His main rivals would come from Stefan Johansson and Roberto Guerrero. Johansson had signed for Ron Dennis's Project 4 outfit which was seen as the dominant team in Formula Three. Guerrero entered the scene with heavy funding for his own endeavours. Although he received a new March 803 from the RMC Group, Acheson was undoubtedly one of the lesser funded competitors.
Acheson struggled to adapt to the new March 803 and instead opted to revert back to the older March 793 he had from the previous season. The decision immediately payed off well and he took his first F3 victory at the fourth round at Thruxton. He then followed with another victory at the next round of the championship at Silverstone.
Acheson also attended the F3 support race for the Monaco Grand Prix where he performed well to finish fourth behind Mauro Baldi, Michele Alboreto and Jean-Louis Schlesser. His main championship rival, Johansson appeared to be faltering after his early season pace. Acheson appeared to have the middle season ground and it looked like there was a very real potential that Johansson in his Ron Dennis entered Project 4 car would lose the championship.
Late in the season, Ron Dennis purchased the latest Ralt RT3 model for Johansson in a late bid attempt to ensure that they won the championship. The new Ralt appeared to be a dominant piece of machinery and Johansson was easily in control in the remaining races. Acheson meanwhile faltered, he returned to the now updated March 803B and found that he could not match the pace of Johansson in the Ralt. Acheson therefore lost the championship by only two points to Johansson.
1981-1983: Formula Two Edit
1983 & 1985: Formula One Edit
1984: CART Edit
Formula One Statistical OverviewEdit
Formula One RecordEdit
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1983||RAM Automative Team March||RAM-Ford Cosworth||0||NC||Report|
|1985||Shadow Racing Team||RAM-Hart||0||NC||Report|
|Front Row Starts||0|
|Distance Raced||469.362 km|
|Distance Led||0 km|
|Complete Formula One results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)||DNS||Did not start|
|[+] More Symbols|