James Davison is a third generation race car driver from Melbourne, Australia. His father Jon Davison was victorious in Formula 5000 and Grandfather Lex Davison, was four times winner of the Australian Grand Prix, competing against racing greats Bruce McLaren and Graham Hill. James was educated at Scotch College and coxed the school’s winning rowing crew at the "Head of the River”. Alex and Will Davison who are cousins to James are V8 Supercar drivers.
In 2004 whilst completing his final year of school, James continued the Davison dynasty starting his racing career in the Victorian State Formula Ford Championship in Australia. Racing against up to 35 competitors, James proved immediately competitive earning a pole position and win.
In 2005 James competed in the Formula BMW USA Junior Series, qualifying on the front row at the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix at Montreal, won at the US Grand Prix held at the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway and secured a further 4 podium finishes. James also finished in the top ten with Asia Team Meritus at the Formula BMW World Final held at Bahrain. Based on these performances, James became part of the Confederation of Australian Motorsport Elite Driver program which included attendance at the Australian Institute of Sport and financial support from the Foundation.
2007 saw James progress to the Star Mazda Championship where current IndyCar drivers Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal previously competed. Driving for Velocity Motorsports, James finished second in the Championship; earning three pole positions and three wins.
As a result of his performances, James was acquired by the Championship winning Indy Lights team, Sam Schmidt Motorsports for the 2008 season. James qualified on the front row and led the Firestone Freedom 100 race in support of the Indianapolis 500, qualified on Pole Position at Nashville SuperSpeedway, won at Mid Ohio and finished second at Kentucky Speedway. James also received the Sunoco Most Improved Driver Award at the IndyCar Championship Celebration held in Las Vegas. In 2009 James driving for Tony George’s Vision Racing team finished second in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship with 3 pole positions, 4 podiums and won at Mid Ohio for the second straight year. It was an outstanding season for James developing to a winning level with a new team, splitting the 2 Andretti Autosport cars in the Championship. Notable drivers in the field included James Hinchcliffe, JR Hildebrand and Charlie Kimball.
For 2010 James had impressed Tony George to move up and drive for his IndyCar team however due to the economic climate, Vision Racing was forced to cease racing operations. This was compounded by a snowboarding accident where James sustained a Grade 4 spleen laceration while skiing in Colorado. Making the most of the recovery time, James acted as a driver coach for Milka Duno in the IZOD IndyCar Series and later made his debut in the Grand-Am Rolex Sportscar Series at the 6 hours of Watkins Glen driving for Starworks Motorsport. James immediately impressed running second to Scott Pruett in the final practice session and racing in the top 3. It was an outstanding debut and unique opportunity to be also competing against 5-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson, also driving a Daytona Prototype.
2011 saw James drive his father's 1974 Lola T332 Formula 5000 at the Australian Grand Prix, lead the Grand-Am Rolex Series race at Laguna Seca for Michael Shank Racing, test his cousin Will's Ford Performance Racing V8 Supercar and impress Andretti Autosport in his maiden IndyCar test. Team owner Michael Andretti stated “James had a strong record in Indy Lights, and the IndyCar test showed that he can take what he learned and move up to the next level. He gave a lot of good feedback to the engineers – something that’s really important when working in a team setting like this. He worked hard to understand everything about the car and equipment.”
In a one-off Porsche Carrera Cup debut at the 2012 Australian Grand Prix, James finished 4th setting the pace in the final race in an All-Star field including Craig Baird, Jonnie Reid, Steven Richards, Mark Skaife and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. As a result James partnered cousin Alex and David Calvert-Jones at the 2013 Bathurst 12 hour Sportscar race in a Class B Porsche GT3 where the trio qualified on Pole and led 80% of the race before retiring.
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