James graduated to the BTCC in 1992 after countless class wins and championships in the National Production Saloon Championship. He won the inaugural TOCA Cup for privateers in 1992 in an ex-works Toyota Carina. In 1993 he was upgraded to a semi-works Toyota Carina E, but the team had tyre problems and he moved back to the independant ranks in 1994 with Kevin Maxted's Carina E. He secured a 2nd privateer title, which was enough to earn him a works drive in the new for 1995 MSD Honda Accord team. James drove for Honda in 1995 and 96, taking a few good results, but not that elusive 1st win. He lost his drive for 1997 when Prodrive took over the Honda programme, and moved onto GTs. His links with Honda got him a drive at Spa in the 24 Hours in 1998 and also 99. James drove in a few races in the Belgian Procar series in 1999 as well. For 2000, he had a permanent drive for the first time in a few seasons and drove for Barwell Motorsport in the National Saloon Championship at first, and then the BTCC Class B, where he was runner up to Alan Morrison. 2001 saw him stay at Barwell, where he battled for the Production class champsionship, eventually being beaten in to second place by Simon Harrison.