Jean-Baptiste Gonnet turned in a three under par 33 to join Peter Whiteford at the top of the Avantha Masters leaderboard.
Frenchman Gonnet raced to seven under par over the front nine of his second round to move alongside overnight joint-leader Whiteford, after the Scot followed his opening 66 with four birdies and three bogeys in his first 14 holes.
The pair were one ahead of Spain’s Alejandro Cañizares, who shared the lead with Whiteford overnight but was only level par for the day through 14 holes, and Wales’ Jamie Donaldson.
The leading four players have only one European Tour title between them – and that came when Cañizares captured the Russian Open in 2006 – but there were plenty of regular winners queuing up behind them.
Four-time champion Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and France’s Gregory Havret, a three-time European Tour winner as well as the 2010 US Open runner-up, were on five under after both played their outward nine in one under par.
Former Ryder Cup star Søren Hansen also continued his return to form at the DLF Golf & Country Club to move to four under par and a share of seventh with Jbe Kruger and Kiradech Aphibarnrat – who was yet to tee off on day two.