DR. RICHARD THOMPSON JR.
Yes, to raise the quality of racing. Amateur drivers have gotten to the point where, to improve their efficiency, they must drive more often than their finances will allow. Without the pros, we won't get the bigger cars, and good crowds, and the sport will suffer.
No. Our club is for the little fellows. If we race the pros we would eventually find ourselves promoting the big names. The little fellows would soon be forgotten. The pros are backed by owners with better equipment and few amateurs could compete with such opposition.
Yes and no. The pros should be allowed to race in the modified classes, where the cars, for all practical purposes, are suitable for racing only on a closed circuit. They should not be allowed to race with the amateurs in the straight production models that operate on highways.
EDWARD J. WALSH JR.
St. Louis, Mo.
No. It is basic that SCCA should be amateur. Our members work hard to put on races and are not paid for their efforts. Why should we work for drivers who are paid to compete? It's not right for amateurs to drive for a cup and let the pros cash in on their show for pay.
N. Chevy Chase, Md.
Yes. We do it every year at Sebring in Florida, but the amateurs sign a release before the races and the cash they may win is given to recognized charities. Last year, another driver and I won $5,500. My amateur standing with the SCCA was not affected.
COLONEL FREDERICK MOORE
No. Cars driven by professionals are usually owned by dealers whose prime interest is sales. They don't care about things like smashed fenders and other damage, and they will drive into situations I'd never think of tackling because I own my own car.
Yes. Racing has now become a pretty big thing and can't be kept down to the level of a Sunday amateur sport. There are too many drivers around who are willing to make their living racing, but they have to be given some incentive bigger than a cup to drive.
No. Procedures are entirely different for pros and amateurs. I'm not in favor of an open for pros and amateurs unless some authority like the FIA defines the specific rules—the status of the amateur after the race, the physical running of the race, etc.
Professionals compete on the same program with amateurs in most countries. If you wish to remain an amateur, all you have to do is to refuse to accept prize money. Those who oppose mixed competition forget the fans. Without good competition, the fans won't come out.
Chairman of the Contest Board
Not now. I doubt that an open for racing would be as practical as that in golf and possibly tennis. Both pros and amateurs belong to the SCCA, and a few pros are now trying to use the amateurs to cash in on a so-called "open" competition. Actually, few amateurs can beat the pros.