Last weekend’s dramatic Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, was a fitting venue for AP Racing to celebrate its 700th Formula 1 victory, as a supplier of racing clutches and brake components.

The result underlies AP Racing’s contribution to race car technology. For the last 40 years it has led the aggressive development of both racing clutch and brake technology. With 700 cumulative victories for brake and clutch systems, the result ranks AP Racing as one of the world’s leading motorsport component suppliers.

For the 2012 F1 season AP Racing supplies nine different designs of caliper, but the contrast between today’s designs and AP Racing’s first race winner is marked. The first car with AP Racing brakes to win a Grand Prix was a Ferrari 312B driven by Mario Andretti in the 1971 South African GP. That 1971 caliper weighed 3.6kg, while today’s F1 models typically tip the scales at just 1.6kg. It’s a similar story with brake discs: as a disc of the same era weighed 4kg, compared to today’s designs at roughly 1.75kg.

The evolution of AP Racing’s clutches dates back even further, with Jim Clark’s winning drive in a Lotus 49 at the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix the first significant victory. The CP2125 fitted to this car had been developed specifically for the then new Ford Cosworth DFV engine, which also made its racing debut that year in Zandvoort, Holland. The following year AP Racing’s clutches achieved a clean sweep and helped Graham Hill to his World Championship in the Lotus 49B.

Rather than resting on its laurels, AP Racing continues to push the development of F1 technology with the sport’s leading teams. AP Racing Managing Director, Charles Bolton, commented: “AP Racing offers continual innovation and development on all its formula one products, working closely with its customers to offer them a dedicated and focused service.“

“This weekend’s result is a momentous motorsport milestone, and everyone at AP Racing is proud to have had such a significant contribution to Formula 1,” continues Bolton. “The demands of Formula 1 drives our engineers to achieve higher levels of performance, and this knowledge filters down to all our product line, be it OEM, motorcycle or even armoured vehicle.” More from ENDS.