SECOND ROUND LEADERBOARD: GB & Ire unless stated
-8 R Karlsson (Swe) -7 J-F Lucquin (Fra) -6 P Hanson (Swe) -5 R Finch -4 S Hansen (Den) M Siem (Ger) Selected others: -3 R Fisher Level J Daly (US) +1 MA Jimenez (Spa), G McDowell +2 B Langer (Ger) +3 P McGinley (Ire)
Hansen will be making his first Ryder Cup appearance in Valhalla
Soren Hansen hit timely form ahead of the Ryder Cup with a superb round of 67 to ignite his charge towards a defence of the Mercedes-Benz Championship.
Hansen, one of four Ryder Cup rookies in captain Nick Faldo's European team, hit six birdies in his first seven holes to leave himself on -4 overall.
"The way I played today I could play with anybody, or play on my own [in Valhalla]," said the 34-year-old Dane.
The Dane's Ryder Cup team-mate, Robert Karlsson, leads on eight under par.
Sweden's Karlsson offered further encouragement to Faldo after he added a 69 to his opening 67 in Cologne to cement a return to form after a three-week injury lay-off.
Hansen did concede one triple bogey and two bogeys in his round - but the 10 birdies in poor weather were more significant given the upcoming Ryder Cup's match-play format.
"I definitely lost that hole in match-play, that's for sure," Hansen said of the triple bogey.
"I lost it a bit on 11 but got it straight back, which shows character once again and I'm really pleased with that.
"You're standing there before going out thinking this is going to be a round of survival because of the weather but I came out hitting good shots and making birdies and it just clicked.
"There's a lot of things going on with the Ryder Cup next week and defending here, and there's a lot of questions.
"Yesterday I was tired but I had a good night's sleep and I felt ready to go."
England's Richard Finch is still in contention, sitting just three behind leader Karlsson on five under having shot a second round 73.
There is no cut at the Mercedes-Benz Championship so all Ryder Cup players will have the opportunity to hone their game with third and fourth rounds ahead of the competition on 19-21 September.