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.
The Armor All Gold Coast 600's unique format requires the two endurance races to be completed by the team's regular driver, partnered by an international driver. There will be a test day for the international competitors at Queensland Raceway this Wednesday.
Brad Jones – Team Co-Owner
"I read the news about Dan Wheldon on the internet this morning after getting a call from my son. I couldn't believe the accident. I knew that he and Tony were quite close after they drove together at Andretti Autosport. His mentor, Steve Horne, called me to say Tony needed time to grieve this morning and I totally understand that. I've lost people close to me and, whether expected or unexpected, it's a terrible thing.
"I was extremely excited about working with Tony Kanaan but I think we've got a great replacement in Allan Simonsen. He did a fantastic job with Murph to finish third at Bathurst and I'm sure his style and personality will fit in perfectly at BJR."
Allan Simonsen Jana Living Racing Co-Driver
"Any fatal crash is absolutely devastating. I raced European karts against Dan; it's just so sad and a very difficult situation for everyone. There are a lot of people who have been affected by this.
"I have to thank Kelly Racing for the clearance in allowing me to race with Jason Bargwanna this weekend. After finishing third with them at Bathurst, I had to run this past them. That, and knowing Jason and other members of the team, made it quite an easy choice."
The Armor All Gold Coast 600 will start on Friday with three days worth of race by day action and two rock by night 600 Sounds concerts, that will feature the likes of Bliss N Eso, The Potbelleez and Simple Minds in their only Australian appearance on this world tour.