Arriving at the Catalunya circuit near Barcelona, Spain, for practice for the LMS opener, Montanari and Simonsen concentrated on tyre testing for long runs to see how the performance would drop off.
With 43 cars on track (versus only 17 for the ALMS!), traffic was an issue and the team settled for sixth in qualifying, just six-tenths of a second shy of pole position.
As race time approached, an unexpected drama unfolded. Simonsen had his HANS device stolen from the pit garage with only minutes remaining before grid up. Some quick thinking by the team and the generosity of Jarnik Janis (who had pulled out due to injury) secured the necessary safety device.
"Can you believe someone would steal that?” an astonished Simonsen exclaimed.
"I have heard things like this happen in Barcelona, but it’s a very silly item to take. I'm very grateful to Jarnik for his kind gesture."
And so Simonsen was in for the start and, making no mistakes, put in a strong effort to hand over at the 70-minute mark to Montanari, who took over for a similar stint. Allan then double-stinted before handing the Ferrari back to Christian.