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Patrese and Arrows come close to glory first time out

On this day in 1978, a young Riccardo Patrese and the new Arrows team almost succeeded in pulling off a massive upset at Kyalami for the combo's F1 debut.

Set-up late in the day by a group of Shadow dissenters led by Jackie Oliver and Alan Rees, Arrows fielded its first charger - the FA1 - at the South African GP at Kyalami, the third round of the F1 world championship.

A 24-year-old Patrese was entrusted with the Cosworth-powered new car and put in an impressive performance to qualify seventh. But that was just an appetizer for things to come.

On race day, the Italian held his own at the start before moving up the order, ultimately disposing of Brabham's Niki Lauda, Wolf's Jody Scheckter and Lotus' Mario Andretti to take a commanding lead.

For the better part of 37 laps, it looked like Patrese was heading to an outstanding triumph when his Cosworth engine expired just 14 laps from the checkered flag.

The British team would have to wait almost 20 years before front-running the field once again, and failing once again so close to glory when Damon Hill's Arrows lost a sure win with just a handful of laps to go in the 1997 Hungarian GP following a hydraulic failure!