Grumble grumble GT1

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GT1 World Championship - Nogaro

Lovely cars, lovely racing. So why the criticism? © Markus Berns / SRO

We all enjoy a good moan. We all love to whine about everything from the weather to what’s on TV and, while there are those who think complaining achieves very little, there is no denying you feel a little better after a good ol’ fashioned whinge.

The Internet is a haven for grouches – like me – where they are able to vent their spleens on many a subject on forums and social media websites. Problem is, however, that some of these grumpuses just don’t know when to stop.

Take the GT1 World Championship for example. Ever since it evolved from the FIA GT Championship back in 2010 it has faced undue criticism and negativity from keyboard warriors who seem overly keen to point out the series’ shortcomings on a regular basis.

I have, somehow, resisted the urge to tell the naysayers to be quiet over the past couple of years, but I think I have finally reached the end of my tether, and like Popeye so often said: “I’ve had all I can stands and I can’t stands no more!”

Quite frankly, it is spectacularly dull to have to continually read about why GT1 is supposedly not as good as its predecessor; it is also rather alarming to see the amount of vitriol being aimed at series boss Stephane Ratel who, you are led to believe, is the most hated man in motor racing.

All of which is, of course, complete and utter bobbins.

Since its inception GT1 has featured plenty of superb racing; high drama and intrigue; and last year we were treated to an epic five-way fight for the drivers’ title at the season finale. Any other series that continually dished up genuinely exciting racing week after week would receive adulation, but for some reason GT1 does not.

Before a wheel had even turned at the season-opening event at Nogaro last weekend, the series’ detractors were out in force, laughing behind their hands as GT1 entered a new era and made some last minute changes to its calendar.

Yes, GT1 has adopted GT3 regulations this year in an attempt to attract more manufacturers. And yes, Ratel has had to put together three of the nine teams on the entry list, but so what? It’s not out of the ordinary for a series organiser to help prop up the grid, and in doing so, GT1 has not only been saved from oblivion, it is now brimming with some of the most exotic sportscar brands.

Better yet, there is every possibility that Ratel’s ambition to have 10 manufacturers on the grid in the near future may come to fruition, simply because most of the cars already exist. Also, switching to a GT3-based formula means that overall running costs are lower, making it more lucrative to prospective teams and drivers.

But at the moment, GT1 comprises of 18 cars and an international mix of drivers and, on the basis of the standard of racing at Nogaro, there is every reason to be optimistic that the series will be able to maintain the same level of competitiveness that it has done for the past couple of years.

It’s just a shame that the action won’t be unfolding on what I deem to be high-quality circuits this year. The ten venues on the 2012 race calendar aren’t the sort to get you giddy with excitement and the loss of the picturesque San Luis circuit is a bit of a bummer.

But I reckon I can offset that disappointment by being able to watch all the racing action live from the comfort of my living room through the wonders of YouTube, for free.

Don’t like it? Then don’t watch it. And certainly don’t complain about it either. Please.