Bernie Ecclestone meeting Nissany, the first Israeli F1 test driver, in the Minardi motorhome at the Hungaroring on 29 July 2005.
Press conference in Tel-Aviv to announce that Nissany had signed a test driver contract for the Minardi Formula One team for 2005.

Chanoch Nissany (Hebrew: חנוך ניסני‎‎; born 29 July 1963 in Tel Aviv) is an Israeli auto racing driver now based in Budapest, Hungary.

He is a successful businessman, and initially took up motor racing as a hobby. He is the first Israeli racing driver to compete in some of the higher levels of the international racing sports, such as International Formula 3000 and World Series Lights. Nissany is the first Israeli who participated at a Formula One Grand Prix weekend, on his birthday, 29 July 2005, in the first free practice session of the 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix, when he drove at the Hungaroring as one of the official test drivers of the Minardi F1 Team.[1]

As of 2016, he is Israel's first and only Formula One driver, although he has not raced in any Grands Prix or participated in any qualifying sessions. His son, Roy Nissany, is also a racing driver.[2]

Career

Nissany started racing in 2002, at the relatively late age of 38. He began his career in the 2002 Formula 2000 Hungarian National Championship, and was runner-up in his first season. In the following year, he won the same competition racing for Szasz Motorsport at the wheel of a Coloni CN-98.[3] From 2003, he started to compete at more international events such as FIA Central European Zone and World Series Lights.

Nissany and Eddie Jordan, after Nissany completed his first ever test with a Formula One car (Jordan Grand Prix) in Silverstone on 14 July 2005.

In 2004, he defended his title in the Formula 2000 Hungarian National Championship.[4] Furthermore, Nissany signed a contract with Coloni Motorsport for 2004 and he competed in Formula 3000. Since he has progressed at Coloni, Nissany completed four tests – two with Jordan Grand Prix[5] and two with Minardi.

On 2 February 2005, Paul Stoddart, the owner of the Minardi Formula One racing team made an announcement at the Hilton Hotel in Tel-Aviv. At this international press conference, Stoddart announced that Nissany had become the official tester for the team for the 2005 season.[6]

Nissany was Minardi's third driver at the 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix because of his popularity in Hungary.[citation needed] This was announced as a one-off deal, although a deal with Nissany's personal sponsor, UPEX, might have allowed him to participate as Minardi's third driver in additional Grands Prix.

On his 42nd birthday, Nissany took part in the first practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix. although his pace was ultimately 12.9 seconds slower than the fastest car in the field. His first Formula One session ended in a gravel trap after a spin. Despite this, he initially complained that the car had too much grip.[7] At subsequent Grands Prix, he was replaced by Enrico Toccacelo.

In 2005, since Nissany focused on his international obligations with Minardi, he had to miss a couple of crucial races at the Formula 2000 Hungarian National Championship which cost him the title by six points.[8] One year later, he regained the title[9] and in 2007, he defended his title at the Formula 2000 Hungarian National Championship.[10] He won all of his titles as Formula 2000 Hungarian National champion, except his last one in 2009,[11] with Laszlo Szasz's racing team.

Racing record

Formula 2000 Hungarian National Championship

Year Team Car Motor Position Points
2002 Szasz Motorsport Coloni CN-98 2. 72
2003 Szasz Motorsport Coloni CN-98 1. 142.5
2004 Szasz Racing Team Coloni CN-98 1. 196
2005 Szasz Racing Team Coloni CN-98 2. 78
2006 Szasz Motorsport Coloni Nissan Dallara-AER 1. 98
2007 Szasz Motorsport Coloni Nissan Dallara-AER 1. 198
2008 Fonix Motorsport Nissan WRL 4. 66
2009 Fonix Motorsport Formula Master Formula-BMW 1. 112.5
2010 Fonix Motorsport Formula Master 3. 44
2011 Fonix Motorsport Formula Master 5. 26
2013 G-Kart Team Formula Master 5. 45
2014 G-Kart Team Tatuus Honda 8. 25

Complete International Formula 3000 results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap.)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 DC Points
2004 Coloni Motorsport IMO CAT MON NUR MAG SIL HOC HUN
Ret
SPA
Ret
MNZ
12
22nd[12] 0

Complete Formula One participations

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 WDC Points
2005 Minardi Cosworth Minardi PS05 Cosworth V10 AUS MAL BHR SMR ESP MON EUR CAN USA FRA GBR GER HUN
TD
TUR ITA BEL BRA JPN CHN