Walker arrived in Russia admitting she was worried about clicking with the complex twists and turns and unique uphill sections at the Sanki Sliding Centr but the Team GB pilot was happy to rank 12th with brakewoman Rebekah Wilson after the opening two runs.
The two-time Olympian will now look to push into the top ten, with just fractions separating her from those just ahead.
"It went a lot better than training and I was really happy with how I performed," said Walker, who was 11th four years ago in Vancouver with brakewoman Kelly Thomas.
"I made it clear that this track hasn't been in love with me in training and it's been a tough few days in practice, so it feels good to put something good down when it really matters."
Walker, whose partner John Jackson will drive Britain's first-choice four man bobsleigh this weekend, is being watched by a big contingent of friends and family in Sochi.
And it's been an emotional experience for her mum Denise, Walker's father Paul passing away in 2011 just after she won the world junior title with Wilson.
"My mum doesn't even watch it on TV so it's a real new experience for her. My mum, my grandma, my uncle and cousins are all out here," said Walker.
"I don't know if she likes it or not - I'll probably get a message on Facebook later but it's really nice to have my family come out all this way to support me."
Meanwhile, Wilson praised Walker's driving skills, with her second attempt down the track just four hundredths of a second slower than her first.
And she insists the crew are ready for further improvements with their next two runs on Wednesday.
"Paula's drive went really well, much better than training," she said.
"If we could get into the top ten that would be nice, that would be a good result for us because it is a difficult track."
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