Yes, the game has gamepad support.
If you're not going to use a 360 gamepad, though, you'll have to configure the controls yourself from within the game.
The game looks great, runs great, is very well optimized, and is great fun.
Codemasters have just redeemed themselves in my eyes after DiRT.
Oh, and about drift racing:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drifting_%28motorsport%29