James began his racing career at club level before moving up to national level racing in a one-make series for Lotus Elise production cars, finishing runner-up in a tight 2004 championship fight, then graduating into V8 Utes in 2005 where he finished seventh in the championship.
In 2007, he competed in the Australian Formula Ford Championship, finishing third in the championship in his rookie season. He then progressed to the Carrera Cup Challenge where he finished third in the 2008 championship.
In 2009, he switched to touring cars and competed in the Fujitsu V8 Supercars series. At season end, he received the Mike Kable Young Gun Award, in recognition of his efforts as a first-year V8 Supercars driver.
In late January 2011, he moved into the premier V8 Supercars class with the Dick Johnson Racing team where he remained for two years gaining valuable experience before moving on to Kelly Racing. He notched up his first V8 Supercars win at Winton driving a Nissan Altima as a member of Nissan Motorsport Racing.
A second placing at the 2014 Bathurst 1000 in a Nissan was his best result to date at Mount Panorama, a place where his father, Alan, enjoyed numerous victories.
In 2016, he became a member of Team PAYCE when he joined the Wilson Security Racing GRM team, to drive a Volvo S60 Polestar, where he contributed to the team’s third place in the championship. Over the season, he had six top 10 finishes with a best result a fifth at the Gold Coast round.
In 2017, his second full year with GRM, he will contest the championship in a brand new #34 Holden Commodore VF alongside team mate, Garth Tander and have Team PAYCE member, Richard Muscat as co-driver in the endurance races in the latter part of the season