Now, I could presume to undertake this myself and call it all my own work.
I'm not going to. Many before me have covered more than I could begin to.
What I will instead do, is post here a few links that I have found useful - if not enthralling and interesting to the point where I struggle to stop reading!
Firstly I would recommend Ben Lovejoy's website and forum, http://www.nurburgring.org.uk/
. Browsing and reading the information on this forum is remarkably informative, concise and up to speed. I would encourage anyone, even if they're not intending to make the trip, and are simply interested in the 'Ring itself, to browse this site and have a read of the information contained within.Nürburgring Nordschleife Introduction.
Ben has written an excellent beginner's guide, and I would point prospective trip goers at this first - << Ben Lovejoy's 'Ring Introduction >>
Please take the time to read that article, and also this, his page on warnings regarding the Ring.<< Ben Lovejoy's Warning and Risk Article >>
The Nürburgring Nordschleife earned the description of 'The Green Hell' by Jackie Stewart, and is widely reputed to be one of the most demanding, and dangerous circuits in the world, and not without reason.
If you go to the 'Ring, do so please having read that and heeded to warnings of the risks involved - not in a gung-ho fashion, hoping to blast around the 'Ring in <10 minutes, and then be able to brag about it to your mates and/or colleagues.
As Ben says, I'm not hoping to put anyone off driving the 'Ring - far from it. Were that the case, I would not be looking to go myself, nor organising this trip.
In essence, driving the Nürburgring holds to the same general rule-set as most other tracks you could care to suggest; namely that the you must be alert, watch your mirrors for vehicles coming up behind you faster, and in the event of such, must give way to them. This is done by moving to the right of the tarmac, and signalling right with your indicators to express consent to pass to the faster vehicle.
The 'Ring's rules are more complex by a margin.
Any vehicle being taken to drive on the 'Ring, must be of roadworthy condition, and drivers must be legally entitled to drive. This means MOT, VED, license and insurance.
There is a minimum speed limit of 40km/h, and a regulation on stopping - DON'T!
The 'Ring is driven CLOCKWISE, never otherwise.
There is of course, no maximum speed limit enforced on the 'Ring. However, this should be treated with respect, and common sense - the 'Ring Rules documentation simply states that you; "must be in full control of your vehicle whatever speed you are travelling at".
Racing is prohibited, as is video or photographic recording of the 'Ring. 'Ring officials have stated in the past, that they find a vast proportion of all the accidents they attend on the circuit have recording or timing equipment running. If you're caught with recording equipment running, you will be banned from the circuit.
Ben's expanded list of the 'Ring Rules document can be found here - << Nürburgring Nordschleife Rules Documentation >>Circuit Knowledge.
Speaking personally, I have been before, albeit only once, in 2009.
Prior to that, my knowledge of the Nürburgring Nordschleife was gleaned simply and solely through driving it in various driving simulators, or racing games.
However, I don't mean for that to be taken in a denigratory fashion at all.
Because I had spent the last couple of months prior to the trip, unfailingly practising on my racing game of choice - (Forza Motorsport 2), my knowledge of the track and of it's twists and turns, crests and drops, braking points and open throttle sections was somewhat better than someone who had not seen the track, even just in computer graphic form, at all. My passenger for my lap of the 'Ring in 2009 had not so much as laid eyes on the layout of the track before, and whilst I was - after the initial few bends, gaining confidence in driving the circuit, there were several occasions where he was gripping the seat bolster and the handle on the doorcard in abject fear of an impending crash.
My point is - track knowledge is key, and gives you a base confidence you will otherwise take many, many laps of the circuit to build up. It enhances your enjoyment of the track, and focuses you on the task in hand - getting round alive, happy and well, wonderfully.
I would sincerely recommend practise of the track on any decently mapped game; personally I chose Forza Motorsport, especially now the third instalment is out and tracks further tweaked for accuracy and realistic representation.
Practise and make a good effort at memorising the track. Many of the corners on the Nordschleife look very similar upon entry, and even on the game, I occasionally mistake the first hairpin for a much more open bend, at the cost of thousands of pounds of computer game credits. I don't want to make that mistake when the cost will NOT be simply deducted from my overall race winnings.
That's my take on a few points regarding the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Enjoy your trip, and drive carefully!