Rising Esports star Kody Deith is hoping his visit to this year’s Ferrari Driver Academy Asia Pacific and Oceania Selection Program will give him the tools to succeed in the future.
The young Queenslander attended the prestigious camp at Sepang International Circuit after winning Motorsport Australia’s Asia Pacific Junior Esports Challenge and attending the event in Kuala Lumpar alongside the 24 participants.
Although he didn’t get behind the wheel of one of the top-spec Tatuus F4-T421 Formula 4 cars, Deith took part in all the training and educational elements of the three-day camp, including fitness testing, data analytics, nutrition education and media training.
He also spent time with the AGI Sport and Top Speed engineers and mechanics, Driver Coaches Jayden Ojeda and Andy Jones, Motorsport Australia’s Jamie Augustine, and Ferrari Driver Academy representatives Jock Clear and Alessandro Vantini.
With the program being a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Deith was grateful to have had the opportunity to go to Malaysia and learn from so many people within the industry having had time to digest the week.
“My experience at the Ferrari Driver Academy Asia Pacific Program was phenomenal – especially being able to talk to engineers, meeting so many new people and making new friends along the way,” Deith said.
“Being able to get close access to the cars, seeing how they work and what goes into them was very special – as was walking the track. On board footage during races does not show the undulations and how fast sections of the track are.
“I also think the programs that Motorsport Australia ran, such as fitness training, data analysis and media training was very beneficial.
“Spending time with Jamie to learn how to read data and how to translate that into driving, how to understand what the car is doing and why, and what adjustments to make to try to improve the feeling was also important for my future development.
“I also enjoyed talking to engineers and being able to get a better understanding of how the car reacts when you change certain things on the setup, as small adjustments can have a huge effect on the handling. When you get it right the car is just a dream to drive.
“This experience was something I will never forget and would love to repeat.”
While Deith’s dream has always been to drive a race car, whether it be a GT car or open wheeler, a journey down the Esports pathway looks far more likely due to the 16-year-old’s swift rise up the ranks.
Deith has only been competing online for a few years now after switching from karting to sim-racing but has since signed transformed into one of the best Esports drivers in the country.
First trying sim-racing in 2019, Deith took advantage of the COVID-19 requirements of staying at home during 2020, getting a Logitech wheel and pedal and spending lots of time playing Gran Turismo on his PlayStation.
Kody’s father soon identified his skills and purchased him a proper gaming laptop with iRacing installed, before upgrading the rig again to boast a triple screen and Fanatec wheel and pedal set, while his uncle built him a state-of-the-art custom gaming PC.
After making the upgrades and spending every spare minute honing his skills, Deith’s iRanking skyrocketed and led to the teenager being approached by Australia’s top sim-racing team, Altus Esports, which he raced at for a year before being poached by prominent F1 team, Williams, to join their Esports program.
“Being contacted by Williams Esports was a surreal experience as they are the esports team for Williams F1,” Deith added.
“I have now been with Williams for the past year, it has been an amazing experience and opportunity for me having many memories doing solo drives and enduro drives with one and sometimes two team-mates for endurance races.”
Deith in action during the 2023 Motorsport Australia Queensland Esports State Championship, which he won.