I used to hate racing games, with a vengeance. I'd tried all sorts of awful or hard to control racers, on pc's and a few early consoles, and gave up on them. Then Colin arrived at the same time as Gran Turismo; I loved rallying, and GT was hyped up to the clouds. So it was a dilemma. In the end my love of rallying won and I bought Colin. (I got GT a week later and hated the controls, and sold it on. Had I got it first I'd never have bought Colin, or any other racer since! As it is I've had every racer Codemasters have made - even the hideous Tommi Makinen one!)
I adored it from the first screen to the finishing credits.
The graphics were fab (Why do pc ones always look so flat, compared to a machine with less total processing power than most pc graphics cards - than some mobile phones for that matter?!) - from the rain and mud in the UK and New Zealand, the gravel and dust in Greece, snow in Sweden, etc.
The controls were a peach; responsive and clean.
The best thing though was the feel of the game. Now, this was without the force feedback most people expect now. But the slide of the car, and the perfect sound of the hiss of gravel in Greece, or the crunch of snow in Sweden, really made you feel you were there. (Sadly this was missing in the second edition - the roads looked like painted tarmac, regardless of the supposed surface.)
Do yourself a favour - relive history.
(Incidentally, I later bought the Japanese version of GT, and it was so much better than when the Americans got hold of it and souped up all the cars for the US/UK versions!)