James Davison is an Australian racing driver who currently competes as a guest driver in different championships, most recently in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Indianapolis 500. His last full season in some competition was in the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge with Nissan.
Earlier in a career, he tried many different racing disciplines, gaining the most success in the open-wheel racing. He was a vice-champion in the 2007 Star Mazda Championship and then in the 2009 Indy Lights Series.
Born in a racing family
James Davison (nicknamed JD) was born in August 1986 in Melbourne, Victoria, as a son of Jon Davison, a former racing driver and a promoter of racing events at Sandown Raceway. JD's grandfather Lex Davison was also a racer, a four-time winner of the Australian Grand Prix.
JD started his career in car racing in 2004, entering the Formula Ford both at Victorian and national level. After scoring three podiums, he finished sixth in the Victorian Formula Ford.
Moving to the US in 2005
In 2005, James moved to the US to compete in the Formula BMW USA with HBR Motorsport. He won one race, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, finishing sixth in the final standings. Good performances placed him in the CAMS Elite Driver programme and a financial support.
In 2006, JD's main competition was the Formula Atlantic Championship with Team Australia. Not scoring wins or podiums, he finished 17th in the points.
James Davison in the 2007 Star Mazda Championship
Runner-up in the Star Mazda Championship
In 2007, Davison changed a competition again, entering the Star Mazda Championship with Velocity Motorsports.
It was his best season to date as he finished second in the points, losing a title to Dane Cameron. JD was on a pole three times, winning one race at Mosport.
Indy Lights debut in 2008, vice-champion in 2009
The next step in JD's career was the Indy Lights Series in 2008. He was driving the #11 car for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, winning one race at Mid-Ohio and finishing ninth in the points.
In 2009, JD joined Vision Racing to drive the #21 Dallara-Infiniti in the Indy Lights Series. He won again at Mid-Ohio and added three more podiums, finishing second in the final standings behind JR Hildebrand.
James Davison in the 2009 Indy Lights Series
Starting a sports car career in 2010
JD left Indy Lights Series in 2010. He had no place in any of open-wheel competitions, switching to sports car racing with Starworks Motorsports in the Grand-Am Rolex Series. He was driving Riley-BMW prototype in two races at Watkins Glen.
Next year, he was without a drive again, joining Michael Shank Racing in Laguna Seca's round of the Rolex Sports Car Series. In 2012, he joined Michael Baughman Racing in one round of the Rolex Series, driving a Chevrolet Corvette at The Glen.
James Davison made a debut at Indianapolis 500 in 2014
IndyCar Series debut in 2013, first Indianapolis 500 start in 2014
In 2013, James Davison returned to open-wheel racing in the Indy Car Series, joining Dale Coyne Racing in two races. He was driving the #18 Honda at Mid-Ohio (15th) and Sonoma (18th).
Next year, JD recorded a debut at Indianapolis 500, driving the #33 Chevrolet for KV Racing Technology. He finished 16th, what remained his career-best result at Indy 500.
In 2014, James Davison was driving the #007 Aston Martin
Racing with Aston Martin in the IMSA SportsCar Championship
In 2014, JD joined The Racer's Group as a full-time driver in the IMSA United SportsCar Championship. He was driving the #007 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in all ten rounds, not scoring wins or podium in the GTD class. His best result was the fourth place at Belle Isle.
JD continued to race with TRG Aston Martin in the 2015 IMSA season but left the team after four rounds. He was on a podium at Sebring 12 Hours, finishing second in GTD class together with Christina Nielsen and Brandon Davis. Later in a career, JD rejoined TRG in two IMSA races in 2016 and one race in 2017.
James Davison at 2018 Indianapolis 500
Twelfth place as career-best Indy 500 result
Following his successful debut at Indianapolis 500 in 2014, JD returned to the greatest American race four more times in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019. In 2015, he was classified 27th in Dale Coyne Racing's #19 Honda. In 2017, he was driving the #18 Honda for DCR, finishing 20th.
In May 2018, JD raced in the #33 Chevrolet. The car was entered by AJ Foyt with Byrd/Hollinger/Belardi and qualified for the race in 19th place. His race came to an end on Lap 47 after contact with Takuma Sato.
The last and the best-so-far Indy 500 appearance followed in May 2019 when JD finished 12th in the #33 Honda of Dale Coyne Racing with Byrd/Hollinger/Belardi.
James Davison raced with Nissan in 2015 and 2016
Two seasons with Nissan in the Pirelli World Challenge
After one full season in the IMSA Championship, JD spent two seasons in the Pirelli World Challenge in 2015 and 2016. He was driving a Nissan GT-R for Always Evolving Racing. With two GT class wins in 2015, he finished fourth in the points. Next year, he was without wins and finished seventh in the points.
In the 2017 PWR season, he raced with TRG Aston Martin in one round and with Dime Racing's Lamborghini in one round.
James Davison with NASCAR legend Bill Elliott in August 2018
Regular competitor in the NASCAR Xfinity race at Road America
In August 2016, JD made a NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with King Autosport's #90 Chevrolet at Road America 180, finishing 19th. Next year, he returned to the same event in the #20 Toyota of Joe Gibbs Racing, he led for most laps before crashing out. Earlier that year, he finished fourth in the Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio in the #20 Toyota.
JD recorded his most recent NASCAR start in August 2018 at Road America, driving the #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. He finished in the eighth place.