Kanaan – who was leading the Las Vegas finale at the time of the multi-car pileup – was one of many who couldn't hide their distress following the news of Dan Wheldon's passing.
The former IndyCar Champion had been due to partner Jason Bargwanna in the Jana Living Racing machine – however Simonsen – coming in with confidence after a stellar Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 is a more than able replacement.
Ford Performance Racing (FPR) has drafted in experienced international driver Richard Lyons to replace Will Power alongside Mark Winterbottom for this weekend's Gold Coast 600 following an accident at the IndyCar finale at Las Vegas.
Power, who was not seriously injured in the multi-car accident, will not take part in the GC 600 as a consequence of the crash.
Singapore-based Northern Irishman Lyons is well-credentialed having won both the Formula Nippon and Super GT titles in Japan during his career.
FPR Team Principal Tim Edwards thanked Lyons for accepting the role in such difficult circumstances.
"On behalf of everyone at Ford Performance Racing I would like to pass on our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Dan Wheldon," Edwards said.
"It was a terrible accident and our thoughts are with them.
"Our thoughts are also with Will Power at this tough time and we are just thankful he has escaped without any serious injury.
"I'd also like to thank Richard Lyons for stepping in at such short notice in place of Will. I have known him since my Formula 1 days and he has always impressed me so I am sure he will adapt quickly to our car and the Surfers Paradise track."