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Probably the least qualified driver to drive during a Grand Prix weekend for three decades. A successful Budapest-based businessman, Chanoch Nissany did not race until he was 38 years old when he enjoyed half a season karting in his native Israel. He entered the last five rounds of the 2002 Hungarian Formula 2000 Championship for fun and won four times.
Further victories and a win at the A1 Ring Austrian Formula 3 race (entering as a one-off) prompted Nissany to join the mainstream racing ladder during 2003.
Formula 1 test driver
He joined the Nissan Lights series at Monza with Szasz Motorsport and won the Hungarian F2000 title in 2003 and 2004. He became the first Israeli to drive an Formula 1 car by testing a Jordan at Silverstone in July 2004 and he also made his Formula 3000 debut for Coloni Motorsport – 12th at Monza his only finish from three starts.
Further F1 tests for Jordan and Minardi followed that winter but it was still a surprise when Nissany was named one of Minardi’s test drivers for 2005. With sponsorship from UPEX, he was the team’s Friday test driver at the Hungarian GP. The 42 year old completed only eight laps before he spun and he ended his one day as a GP driver 13.91 seconds off the pace.
Nissany was one of those to drive in Minardi’s last-ever F1 test at Vallelunga in November 2005 but he has not appeared since. His son, Roy, began his own European racing career in 2010.